The winner of the most recent season of ‘The Biggest Loser’ has sparked much criticism after losing 60% of her body weight during the 12-week reality show. Rachel Frederickson starting weight was 260 pounds and throughout the course of the show she lost 155 pounds. Frederickson is 5’5″ but now only weighs 105 pounds which means she is now categorized as under weight on the Body Mass Index (BMI). ‘The Biggest Loser’ is a extreme weight loss reality program after all, should we be suprised at Rachel’s extreme transformation outcome?
The popular TV program is known to help those struggling with obesity to lose weight as quickly as possible with a significant cash prize for the person who loses the most. It was often thought that the program was helping motivate people to eat a healthy diet and exercise or at the very least, makes viewers aware of their own lifestyle choices. However, critics are now drawing attention to the fact the program encourages contestants to lose as much weight as possible without taking consideration into the health risks of losing too much weight and doing so within a very short time. Rachel ignored any questions discussing whether she felt she had taken her weight loss too far.
At first glance it is easy to perceive ‘The Biggest Loser’ as a positive influence in the arena of health and well being in America. However, the recent winner has drawn attention to the fact the the show’s focus is on getting thinner rather than healthier. This ‘thin’ ideal that the show creates worsens the unhealthy body image that is promoted through out mainstream media. It encourages people to be skinny and do whatever it takes to get there which is incredibly damaging to physical and mental health. It is also very alarming that articles claim 85-90% of Biggest Loser contestants return to their starting weight regardless.