The latest winner of The Biggest Loser, Rachel Frederickson, has spoken out about her controversial 155 pound weight loss on the show. Frederickson was crowned the victor of the show’s fifteenth season on Tuesday, but many say the young reality star lost too much weight and now appears unhealthy.
Viewers of the show have expressed shock at 24-year-old Frederickson’s appearance post-weight loss and the faces of two of the show’s personal trainers, Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper, appeared to viewers to reveal shock as well. At a reported 5’5″ tall and now 105 pounds, there has been an enormous public outcry against The Biggest Loser in the days following Frederickson’s win. Criticism for allowing her to lose enough weight that her Body Mass Index (BMI) is now below the recommended healthy level is now being heavily levied.
Up until now, Frederickson herself had not commented on the controversy. In a conference call with reporters on Wednesday, the victor and former elite swimmer announced that she considers herself to be at a “healthy” and “sustainable” weight. She says that she is in “maintenance mode” now and that she is continuing to follow the guidelines of The Biggest Loser diet plan and the advice of the show’s nutrition coach, Dr. Cheryl Forberg. She says her goals are to be healthy and strong and she believes that she “absolutely” is.
Frederickson went on to provide a few more details about her eating and exercise regime, and this has led to more speculation that she may be over-exercising or even have an addiction to exercise. She explained that she had been attending three to four exercise classes per day during the three month period of time between when she left The Biggest Loser ranch and the show’s finale, in addition to walking on a treadmill. Her remarks about the walking were vague, though she did say “I work, you know, kind of all day.” Frederickson says that she is excited about her life moving forward and that she plans to try to seek balance as she works on maintaining her current weight.
The Biggest Loser winner isn’t the only one speaking out about her weight loss, the three trainers on the show have offered statements as well. Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper each issued the same non-commital statement via social media offering congratulations to all of the contestants on season 15 of the show but saying that neither felt comfortable commenting specifically on Frederickson’s weight loss as they had not worked directly with her. The winner’s trainer, Dolvett Quince took to Twitter to make his statement and said that his commitment to her health is ongoing as is her journey, and that no broad conclusions about her welfare should be made at this time.
As for the position of the show itself, the official statement made by The Biggest Loser producers and NBC spoke out only to say that they support all of the contestants that have appeared on the show over the years and their journeys to lead healthier lives and inspire viewers at home, offering no specific acknowledgement of the controversy surrounding this year’s winner.
By Michele Wessel