So the finale of The Biggest Loser aired last night, and now everybody in the entire world who never watches it is really upset because they think the winner lost too much weight.
Her name is Rachel Frederickson, she’s twenty-four, and she began this season at 260 pounds, about 100 pounds of which she put on after a college rejection. But during last night’s finale, after four and a half months on the show, she revealed she’d lost a startling 155 pounds, for a final weight of 105 pounds. In short, she’d lost 60% of her body weight, going from a size 20 to a size 0/2, which is a new record for the show, now in its fifteenth season. And since she’s 5’4″, this gives her a Body Mass Index of 18, which places her just barely in the ‘underweight’ category, as ‘normal weight’ begins with a BMI of 18.5.
— Kirstin Benson (@kirstinbenson) February 5, 2014
And guys — PEOPLE WERE NOT OKAY WITH IT. You could hear whispers in the audience, see the shocked look on the faces of two of Biggest Loser‘s coaches, Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels, and read the reaction loud and clear on Twitter and everywhere else in the morning. But honestly, as drastic and likely unhealthy as the loss was, what are we so surprised about? We take someone with impulse control issues with food, put them on a competitive reality show where they work out multiple times a day, get their food monitored, and work closely with specialists — how do we not think this person might adjust their addiction to exercise instead of food, or maybe even end up with a full-blown eating disorder?
This is a television show, so they’re always gonna be pushing for fatter people with sadder stories and more weight loss. This show may be designed to help chronically overweight people, and to a large extent it probably does, particularly the ones who see it and take initiative at home. But it’s also designed to make the producers money, which it’s doing in spades, or else it wouldn’t be on the air.
So do you like watching people doing unhealthy things to their body or do you not? You gotta make up your mind.