The recent season of “Biggest Loser” came to an end. And, Rachel Fredrickson emerges the winner! She almost lost about 60% of her physical mass on the reality-cum-health show. Although the focus is not on her $2.5 million win, it is on her loss. Weight loss, to be clear!
There are a lot of negative responses revolving around her excessive weight shedding in social media. “Although she won something – by losing something, she lost more than necessary,” commented a fan on Twitter. She lost too much weight, and that is not a healthy thing, criticized the health pundits. Even if the concept of the show revolves around losing weight, a more positive message is required to its viewers. Fitness should be the main priority and not just blind mass-losing. A healthy living should be promoted centering on body image, they say.
Rachel Fredrickson was a 260 pound couch potato when she entered the show, and went on to lose 155 pounds by the end of it. She is weighing 105 pounds now, due to extensive exercise and diet schedule on the fifteenth season of the show.
Jillian Lampert, senior director of Emily program, St. Paul-based program dealing with eating disorders observes that winner’s body mass index is well below the normal range, and that’s not a healthy sign. Body mass index is a measure of weight according to age and height, and Fredrickson cannot be termed fit now as she has lost more than she should have. However, Lampert defends the former swimming-champion winner and says, “Criticism directed towards her is not helpful. We criticize overweight people for being above normal, so we have shows like ‘Biggest Loser’, and then when someone works extremely hard to win it, we simply criticize them for being underweight. This is just ridiculous.”
“We see a lot of young people stressed with their body sizes. They suffer from stuff like eating disarrays who adopt extreme behaviors when they are on that show. So Rachel is right in her own point of way,” she further added, “But she must know that it is not going to help her.”
John Ikeda, a veteran at the University of California and a renowned dietician believes that the young generation should focus on adopting a body-size variety.
“We all have an obsession regarding our body volume. Specifically with ladies, they are not satisfied with body size they have,” Ikeda said.
“Even if you have a body like Angelina Jolie, perfect size and everything, someone would dislike her nails’ shape or the haircut. So there’s always a discontent,” continued Ikeda, “Instead, we must show gratitude that we are not like Barbie dolls.”
An article by Rene Lynch on Los Angeles Times about the ‘Biggest Loser Underweight’ issue fetched a lot of comments, some criticizing NBC while others were congratulatory and positive.
A comment by Audrey Brooks disparaged the show and said, “This is not a fair contest to be in. It shows the viewers that losing weight exceptionally fast in a stipulated time is good which is medically wrong, in fact, losing body weight like this manner is unhealthy for your organs and stresses your heart. Fredrickson lost her weight too rapidly making her look ill and thin like an incense stick. She looked like anorexic on the final night. This could lead to a disorder called BBD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder).”
While some congratulated Rachel for winning money with a word of caution, they slammed the show, “Normal weight for the person of her height should be around 120-140 pounds, but in a hoard to win competition, Rachel came way down to 105. Good she won huge dollars! Health can buy you money, but money can’t buy you health. There should not be shows like this.”
The show has ended, but it has sparked a controversy regarding fitness ethics adopted by its makers. Do you think it is right to lose this much weight that one becomes unhealthy?