Did “Biggest Loser” Winner Rachel Frederickson Lose Too Much Weight?

Rachel Frederickson at the start of “The Biggest Loser” (L) and on the finale (R). (NBC/Paul Drinkwater/AP; NBC/Trae Patton/AP)

Rachel Frederickson at the start of “The Biggest Loser” (L) and on the finale (R). (NBC/Paul Drinkwater/AP; NBC/Trae Patton/AP)

Much controversy has been stirred by Monday’s season finale of NBC’s “Biggest Loser.”  Rachel Frederickson stunned trainers and fans by losing an astonishing 155 lbs and dropping her total weight to a paltry 105 lbs.  Stunned faces of trainers Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper were indicative of the contestant’s vast body transformation.  Many on Twitter and in the media are questioning if this once obese contestant has now partaken in a reverse eating disorder of anorexia. 

The weight loss competition and reality show is known for its drastic transformations.  Rachel losing almost 60% of her starting body weight however had never been accomplished on the show before.  The winner of the show gets a $250,000 cash prize.  Many are asking if Rachel starved herself to victory.

I don’t watch this show.  I’m only aware of the controversy because it’s been kind of hard to miss when watching the news.  Do I think she lost too much weight?  Maybe.  While it may look to me that she is a bit too thin, it really isn’t fair to simply look at a photo or a video clip and judge a person’s health or determination.  While a person’s weight is generally an indicator of one’s overall health, it is not the only one.

Every person has a different body structure.  While 105 lbs might seem too thin to me, it might be the perfect weight for her body.  I’d be interested to hear what a nutritionist and doctor think of her weight.  We simply don’t know all the details.  Losing weight and keeping it off is very difficult.  Rachel should be applauded for her hard work.  If doctors do find that she is too thin or that she’s become anorexic than I wish she seek help.  Until then we should realize that not everyone is the same.  Sometimes a number is simply a number.  You could be “thin” yet vastly unhealthy (high blood pressure, cholesterol, etc).  I’d be interested in learning other parameters of her health, before labeling her as anorexic.

What do you think?

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Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate


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About adrakontaidis

A conservative who doesn't pander to the GOP.

2 responses to “Did “Biggest Loser” Winner Rachel Frederickson Lose Too Much Weight?”

  1. Kamil Zawadzki says :

    As a person fighting the battle of the bulge, myself, “The Biggest Loser” is a show I follow every once in a while. I haven’t followed it too much this season but seeing before/after pictures, it was a bit jarring…

    She did look super-thin in the face and arms. But as you said, weight or appearance alone aren’t the only (or even best) indicators of one’s overall health.
    I, too, would like to hear what nutritionists have to say about this. Jillian Michaels, one of the show’s trainers, pretty much passed the buck to show producers, saying she wasn’t familiar with her particular regimen. And Frederickson’s trainer insists that it’s been a healthy, positive journey and that her “journey to good health has not ended.”

    But I think this goes beyond Frederickson in particular — I think her big reveal just put the spotlight on her but it’s just one aspect of a whole host of issues I have with “The Biggest Loser.”

    The show has had criticism and controversy before, including Jillian having her team consume caffeine supplements to help them exercise and lose weight — she insisted the pills were healthy, and that her only regret was her team being penalized for her executive decision, but this is just indicative of problems with the lose-weight-as-competition concept.

    These people sign up to and are constantly pushed to lose more and more and more weight in a very short period of time. Dramatic weight loss in a short period of time is rarely healthy and can rarely be sustained long-term; but perhaps more troubling is the workouts they put contestants through each season. Because the show is a competition, they push them to work out hard for long periods of time and punish the whole team when one starts slowing down, with everyone then ganging up on the one person for being a whiner.
    But when you’re obese, your heart is already working overtime just doing things at a regular pace, much less running the treadmills. Working out is good but you can only push your body so much.

    From what I’ve seen of the show, these trainers throw that out the window in the drive for drama and better results at weigh-in — that’s pretty risky. And the shaming of people for slowing down as they reach dangerous levels of exhaustion that goes on from season to season is inexcusable.
    Contestants have already passed out and been taken to hospital due to the strain of the extreme workouts. And honestly, I’m shocked there has yet to be one that suffers a heart attack.

    Plus, like most reality shows, “The Biggest Loser” simulates an artificial environment for the contestants. Think about it. These people basically have to take leaves from their jobs if not quit and are separated from their families. They are sequestered from ACTUAL reality. There’s nothing to do on the Biggest Loser ranch except work out, diet, bond or berate each other and then head into the sauna room to sweat off every precious pound they can. What happens when these people no longer have the competition, pressures or even comforts of that simulated environment?

    Contestants from past seasons have since discussed some of the ways they (allegedly) lost the poundage, including dehydration and crash diets the day before weigh-in. And then after the show finishes its run and they get back to a regular, less-extreme routine, and actually have to go back to everyday LIFE, they regain that weight. It’s not sustainable unless you continue crash diets and can devote hours upon hours each day working out.

    Ultimately, “The Biggest Loser” sells itself as a tough but rewarding competition to encourage lifestyle changes — but from where I’m sitting, it’s not really a good recipe for long-term health, no matter the good intentions of the trainers.

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