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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Biggest Loser Rachel Frederickson Wins $250,000 -- Find Out Why Everyone Is Upset About It

Season 15 of the popular TV show, The Biggest Loser, created quite a stir lately and has some believing the show went way too far. Why? This season's winner, Rachel Frederickson, is being criticized for losing too much weight. What? Isn't that what the show is about?

Reason for all the fuss

Twenty-four year old Rachel Frederickson was chosen as the winner. Statistically, she was clearly the top choice. Rachel went from 260 pounds to 105 pounds. Although others in the competition lost more, Rachel's weight loss was a whopping 59.62 percent of her body weight. But that's not what has everyone talking. It's what they saw when Rachel appeared on stage. Even fitness experts agreed that Rachel looked too thin and gaunt and not healthy.

Did the show go too far?

That's a matter of opinion. At her current weight of 105 pounds, petite Rachel, who stands 5'4", has a body mass index (BMI) of 18, which is considered underweight. A normal weight range would be 108-145 pounds. So, she is slightly underweight. What seemed to shock everyone was her appearance. Most people were just plain shocked and felt she did not look healthy, leaving them convinced that she went too far. What do the experts say?

Expert opinions vary

Physician Ian Smith who wrote best-seller Super Shred: The Big Results Diet and also co-hosts The Doctors TV show stated, "If Rachel lost her weight through hard work and determination, I definitely applaud her efforts. However, to lose 60% of your body weight in a short period of time can be unhealthy and put a person at risk for several medical problems including gallstones, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalances."

On the other hand, Joy Bauer, the nutrition and health expert for NBC's Today show points out that you cannot make a fair judgment by just looking at one's BMI.

Did Rachel's competitive spirit (she is a former competitive swimmer and 3-time state champion) get out of hand in her determination to win? Or did the show make a mistake in allowing such a huge weight change to be used for entertainment purposes? Is the show encouraging more eating disorders among young girls? The questions are sure to continue.
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