The idea behind the popular show “The Biggest Loser” is to follow a group of people on their journey with ups and downs in the quest of losing weight while assisted by a personal trainer. This should encourage the viewer to take action for his or her own health and start a diet and workout program. But sometimes, the show can take an unpleasant turn and reveal the “bad” example of weight-loss.
Exactly this happened when Rachel Frederickson, the happy winner of the show’s 15th season , entered the stage. Trainers Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper were shocked at the view of Rachel: the 24 year old lost no less than 155 pounds, jumping from 260 pounds and size 20 to a shocking 105 pounds and a 0/2 size.
Pro’s and Con’s
As the shows’ main focus is to help contestants lose weight, they also must do it in a healthy way, to make sure the weight loss doesn’t affect their well-being. Apart from the shocking look, Rachel may face serious health issues after her rampant weight loss. A 60% total body weight loss in a short period of time leads to many digestive problems and anorexia. Also, Rachel is reported to have a 18 BMI, which is 5 points under the normal, safety value.
High Standards for Teens
Serious health problems Rachel may be forced to experience in the future are not the only faults of the show. This popular reality-show is broadcasted in the whole world and provide example for people who want to lose weight. The idea is to motivate people to lose weight, but with an extreme example of weight loss like Rachel’s case is, the ethical value of the images shown is questionable. The fact Rachel won the show is another message to the masses: it’s perfectly alright to exaggerate.
Judging from their shocked faces as Rachel walked the stage, Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper are concern for the extreme process Rachel has undergone. Neither of the two made sharp statements, but is the lack of strong opinion, which can be taken as their sign of disapproval on the matter.
Michaels wrote on her social media account: “We’re not comfortable commenting on Rachel’s journey because [we] weren’t her trainers and weren’t given an opportunity to work with her at any point.” “Any questions about the contestants on the Biggest Loser should be directed to the show’s producers.”
The last phrase can raise an eyebrow or two about the moral implications of transforming a young woman’s quest for a healthy lifestyle, greater vitality and weight loss in a flashy spectacle, meant to bring more audience.