The question surrounding the current controversy on The Biggest Loser is: when is weight loss too much? Some fans of the show have taken to Twitter to express their anger, indicating that some people are never happy, simply because others have dared to criticize a person for losing too much weight. However, there are many risks to doing this—fast or slow.
The controversy started during the finale of season 15 of the popular weight loss reality TV show. Rachel Frederickson lost a total of 155 pounds to get to her end weight of 105 pounds and win the show. That was an alarming weight loss of 59.62 percent of her total bodyweight, and led to many people expressing their concerns over the amount on social networking sites.
Questions have been raised over whether this weight loss is really too much? It would depend on the original size and the height of the person. It is also important to consider the speed at which that weight was lost and whether it was accomplished in a healthy way, or not.
The contestants on The Biggest Loser tend to lose a lot more than people would in real life. There are times that the weekly weight loss is in double figures. That is because they are under constant supervision, have diet plans created for them – for that specific reason – and have personal trainers to push them in the gym, for hours on end. It’s not possible to lose that amount of weight continuously and keep it off in the real world.
So, when does the weight loss on The Biggest Loser cause so much controversy for being too much? It is when it is possible to see the bones past all the skin and muscle in the winner’s body, and when the fitness instructors on the show appear shocked—and not in a good way—at the sight of the new figure.
There are also signs that too much weight has been lost when considering Frederickson’s height and, therefore, her Body Mass Index (BMI). The BMI is a general way to determine whether someone is at a healthy weight for their height. At 5-foot-5-inches and a weight of 105 pounds, the winner has a BMI of 17.5. A healthy range is between 18 and 24.5, putting Frederickson in the underweight category; meaning that her weight loss was too much. While there are flaws in the BMI scale, it is still used as an indication of whether someone is healthy or not.
The point of The Biggest Loser is to encourage those overweight and obese to lose weight healthily and then keep it off. It shows people sitting at home that it really is possible. However, losing too much gives the wrong impression and does not make the winner such a good role model for the children, teens and young adults watching the show. These people are the most likely to start thinking the “anorexic look”—as some people called it on Twitter—is the desired look.
The final number on the scales needs to be considered along with a person’s height to work out the BMI. This will determine when weight loss is too much, as appears to be the case on season 15 of The Biggest Loser.
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham