Is the 'Biggest Loser' Too Thin?

Did the winner go too far?

Trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels — and Plainfield resident Tanya Winfield — react to Rachel's weight loss during the "Biggest Loser" live finale. Credit: Screenshot
Trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels — and Plainfield resident Tanya Winfield — react to Rachel's weight loss during the "Biggest Loser" live finale. Credit: Screenshot
By Shannon Antinori

"Biggest Loser" winner Rachel Fredrickson lost a greater percentage of weight than any contestant in the NBC show's 15-year run and the dramatic weight loss has some critics calling her too thin.

A former competitive swimmer who was an athletic 150 pounds in the second-to-last episode, Frederickson's 59.62 percent weight. After starting the competition at 260 pounds, Frederickson lost a total of 155 pounds.

But, it was at Tuesday's live finale, filmed weeks after the three finalists went home to continue their weight-loss journeys on their own, that 24-year-old Frederickson was crowned "The Biggest Loser." She appeared dramatically thinner than the last time viewers saw her as she won the "Biggest Loser" triathlon.

Viewers took to social media to express concern over Frederickson's appearance, and trainers Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper — who have yet to publicly react to Frederickson's win — appeared somber and shocked as Frederickson walked out onstage.

"I actually can't stop thinking about The Biggest Loser," one fan wrote on Twitter. "It was such an amazing night with a very weird ending. I hope Rachel is OK."

Some said the show should set new rules to prevent contestants from becoming underweight just to win the coveted title and $250,000 prize money.

"Perhaps #biggestloser should set a lower limit according to health guidelines and if they go below, no win," one fan wrote. Another agreed: "There needs to be a red line that disqualifies finalists for too much weight loss based on a minimum BMI threshold."

Other viewers were quick to point out that the criticisms about Frederickson's weight — and posts calling her anorexic — amount to body-shaming.

"#rachel from #BiggestLoser looks great!," a fan wrote on Twitter. "It's sad how unhealthy people post their #bully words of disgust. Proud of her!"

Watch Frederickson's "Biggest Loser" win.

Do you think the criticism of Rachel's weight loss is warranted? Did she go too far, or did she just play to win?

Troy February 06, 2014 at 09:44 AM
Patch jumped the shark.
Rachelle Brown February 06, 2014 at 10:04 AM
She looks awesome! The people concerned are jealous fatties.
Gabe Gonsalves February 06, 2014 at 10:18 AM
How much weight you loose is a choice that belongs to the individual hopefully made with guidance by his or her doctor. I fail to see how this is anyone's business other than the individual who lost the wait.
Katharine Santee February 06, 2014 at 10:31 AM
Did the show explore her weight when she was a competitive swimmer? Maybe this is close to her previous weight...AND we have not heard from her yet...stop the weight shaming!
Craig Thomson February 06, 2014 at 10:41 AM
Hopefully she just went a bit overboard to lock up the win. If she gained back about 20 lbs. and could maintain that...she would look great.
Burt February 06, 2014 at 11:31 AM
She is hot ....I wish I was younger. She will eventually gain some weight back.. It is what is inside that is important anyway.
Burt February 06, 2014 at 11:33 AM
I wonder how she got so fat in the first place at that age? eating disorder?
Peggy February 06, 2014 at 03:29 PM
I think she looks way too thin, no muscle tone whatsoever, but I think what is most disturbing to me is that she lost 45 pounds in about 6 weeks (or however much time there is between when they leave the ranch and the finale). As most people who attempt weight loss, you start to lose weight much slower at the end of your journey. Her weight loss seemed to speed up. I know that she worked incredibly hard to get where she is, but I agree that there should be some limit to the amount of weight a person should be allowed to lose. They are trying to promote a healthy lifestyle and healthy weight, but being under weight is just as harmful as being over weight.
Ema Nekafo February 06, 2014 at 08:19 PM
REALLY? What matters is what she looks like? What people should be paying attention to is that she is HEALTHY.
David Davidson February 06, 2014 at 09:04 PM
Thank you Ema Nekafo, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one thinking that point exactly.
Lucy February 06, 2014 at 09:07 PM
People are divided on this. I think she look gaunt, mainly in the face and her arms too thin. Her smile takes up the whole bottom of her face. She looks older than 24. What shocked me is that the episode before this one she was 150. I estimate that between that episode and this one was about a month. To lose 55 pounds in a month can not be healthy. The picture of her at the weigh in where she was 150 she looked pretty. Now she's gaunt. She looks like Karen Carpenter who was an anorexic. If she would put on 10 pounds she would look better. Her face is scary.
Lucy February 06, 2014 at 09:11 PM
Peggy, you are thinking what I am thinking. As her trainer said, it's a contest. That tells me that at the last weigh in she knew she had to crash diet to win the whole thing. She'll probably put some of it back on, it's very hard to keep that weight off. She was pretty bottom heavy at the last weigh in. It's not a matter of how she looks or how healthy she is but coming from someone who has been on the verge of anorexia, once you reach a certain point of weight loss, it messes with your mind. I don't wish that on anyone.
Lucy February 06, 2014 at 09:14 PM
Gabe, you are ignorant. Yes, losing weight is a choice but for many, once you reach a certain point, if you lose too much, then your mind takes over and it becomes a mental issue. That is what anorexia is. It's not just a girl choosing to be really thin, she loses the ability to think and see things correctly in regard to her physical appearance. What you see in the mirror is not what others do. Unless you've experienced it then you don't have a clue.
Lucy February 06, 2014 at 09:16 PM
Burt, what about Karen Carpenter? She was a sweetheart. Loved by millions. But she was dead at 33 because she was too thin. Yes, what is inside matters but your physical body needs to be healthy too.
Ryan Meyers February 07, 2014 at 05:51 AM
the 250k she won will be life changing for her. she did what she had to do to win. I'm sure in the next several months she'll add weight. she was an animal in the gym, how could you not root for her. let her enjoy her victory.
Shif February 07, 2014 at 06:14 AM
All you people need to remember she was on a tv show and this is what they want. She looks just like all the girls on tv and in the magazines, ie model. If you don't look that way, especially white women, you don't fit the mold. Get over it!
Mean Mom February 07, 2014 at 06:54 AM
She looks great and probably feels great. It's so easy for people to bash on us skinny women. Get over it. Most Americans should follow her lead.
Kathryn Gress February 07, 2014 at 07:47 AM
She is too thin and looks anorexia condition. THis is not healthy like the show promotes.. Even the trainers were shocked and you can see it on their faces..
Alene Shafnisky February 07, 2014 at 11:05 AM
She almost fell several times. She's noticeably weak. That is...wow. That girl probably did herself serious harm to lock in the money. I hope she finds it worth it.
its me February 07, 2014 at 02:13 PM
she is doing heroin
Amanda February 07, 2014 at 02:15 PM
Umm.. That's how I looked when I went from obese to underweight as the result of anorexia. Yea it's great she lost the weight, but when you go too far you're better off being overweight than having an eating disorder. More people die from anorexia than obesity. Yea you can't say it's a fact she lost the weight unhealthily, but come on! She lost 45 pounds from the last episode to the finale! At her size, that's way too quickly to be healthy. Her face was hollow and her stomach was caved inward. Take it from someone who's anorexic- I don't see how she did that without starving herself. And that truly worries me because that itself creates a worse monster than before. I'm not blaming the TV show, but they should have helped her more and given her a different meal/exercise plan because when you're at the lower end of a healthy weight, you don't HAVE to exercise like crazy and you SHOULD'NT be eating 1,600 calories a day. That's a plan for an obese person, not someone at their goal weight (or below it.) I truly hope Rachael gets better, she obviously has a different problem now and I hope she realizes that she will always be beautiful. But, we just want her to be beautiful and healthy.
Grumpy Old Man February 07, 2014 at 04:54 PM
Lucy - Karen Carpenter died due to complications from anorexia - not because she was too thin.
its me February 08, 2014 at 10:11 AM
chris February 10, 2014 at 12:52 AM
This article is nothing to do with Half Hollow Hills patch
Rachelle Brown February 10, 2014 at 02:54 PM
Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.
Rachelle Brown February 10, 2014 at 03:00 PM
There is really no such thing as anorexia or an eating disorder. No one dies from it but millions die from obesity and I dont even care about that - it is the monetary cost to society from obesity that is troubling not to mention the FFFs that drive around disney, shoprite and the mall in the motorized carts because they cannot even walk they should all go on the same diet as rachel.


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