'Biggest Loser' Season 15 Winner's Extreme Weight Loss Is Worrisome (PHOTOS)

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bob harper jillian michaels faces rachel fredericksonThe Biggest Loser, being the dramatic reality show that it is, has aired some real shockers over the years, but perhaps no bigger jaw-dropper than what occurred last night. When the season 15 winner Rachel Frederickson stepped on stage, the utterly stunned looks from coaches Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper said it all. The 24-year-old, who is 5-foot-4, is reportedly now 105 pounds with a BMI of 18.

Although those stats are a bit worrying in themselves -- a BMI of 18 is technically .5 point below "normal" -- it bears noting that they may very well be acceptable for some women who fall into that range naturally. But for someone like Frederickson, who started at 260 pounds and lost 155 pounds over the course of the show, for a 60 percent total body weight loss, it's definitely somewhat disturbing.

rachel frederickson winner biggest loser

As someone who has struggled to maintain a healthy weight due to hormone imbalance for my entire childhood and adult life, the concept behind The Biggest Loser never sat 100 percent right with me. I love Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper's individual philosophies as trainers and how they inspire their contestants to get fit. But I struggle with the idea of health and fitness -- especially measured primarily by success on the scale -- being treated as a competition. And now, Rachel Frederickson's extreme weight loss being touted as an achievement on the show only serves to make me question not only the competition aspect, but the safety and ethics of an extremely high-intensity, short-term weight loss program.

I'm not alone. If it wasn't enough to see Jillian and Bob have to basically pick their jaws up off the floor upon seeing her, the masses on social media responded in kind, tweeting up a storm that Rachel's shocking weight loss is "not healthy, by any definition," but it is "hard to celebrate." Others lamented that it is "just unbelievable how far she took her weight loss with so many young girls watching her every move." Some are calling for NBC to make a statement, distraught that they may otherwise be endorsing unhealthy behaviors and methods. In other words, one woman's weight loss journey has pretty much spawned a full-on cluster@$&* of worry, confusion, anger, and disillusionment. 

rachel frederickson winner biggest loser 15

Make no mistake: Experts will come out swinging, taking sides. Who knows if NBC will get defensive or not? I can't wait to hear what Jillian and Bob have to say, because their faces in that screenshot already gave away exactly how they felt about it. I do feel bad for Rachel ... Maybe where she is now is where her body is meant to be, but judging how fast and furiously she dropped the weight when slow and steady is usually the wisest way to go, I can't help but worry that something isn't right here.

The Biggest Loser was always supposed to be about achieving greater vitality. Perhaps Rachel has found that, but if there is something that is out of balance, let's hope she gets it straightened out, because it isn't extreme weight loss but balance and wellness that should be the ultimate goal.

What do you think about Rachel Frederickson's controversial weight loss?



Images via NBC

weight loss, general health, celebrity, biggest loser

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Katha... Katharine205

I think it's between her and her doctor.  She was on a weight loss show, she lost a ton of weight.  People need to get their knickers untwisted.

Jacee... Jacee2348

Girl needs a cheeseburger or 12; just sayin'......  Her face is so drawn in, you can no longer even see the dimples she used to have.  She looked extremely healthy when she was in the 130's, now she just looks scary.  My knickers aren't twisted over it, but I definitely had a look of shock and concern, much the same as Bob & Jillian.  Her legs were just sticks; her arms were twigs; and her face just looks like a layer of skin over bone.  If her doctor and the people around her are telling her she's healthy and not too thin, so be it, but I'd have to hear it to believe it.  I think she looks sickly, even if my opinion will never count for anything.  I hope she puts on about 15 pounds and then maintains.  But again, this is all just me - normally I wouldn't comment on someone's weight, but she opened herself up for it by going on a weight loss show.   

nonmember avatar Rana

I was so upset last night about this whole ordeal. I know weight loss can be addictive and once you start it's hard to stop. On a grander scale like this show, it's not surprising that she lost so much weight. What does The Biggest Loser expect? They are judged on how much weight they lose week in and week out with red lines, comments from the judges, etc and I'm sure that pressure stays in their heads after they leave. I think people online are being terribly cruel to her and that certainly is not going to help the matter. I feel bad for Rachel and hope she gets help if she needs it.

PRIMA487 PRIMA487

I guess damn if you do and damn if you don't. You just can't win. It seems that people are always going to be too fat or too skinny. Is anyone ever just right?

Jacee... Jacee2348

^^Agreed, @PRIMA487^^; but I think that's exactly the point here with Rachel - she was too big before and now she's at the other extreme.  Maybe she needs to just meet somewhere in the middle.  But like I said before, if her doctor does say she's healthy then so be it - we can all shut our pie holes over the whole debate. 

Kathy Eubanks

She took it too far. No way is 105 pounds a "heathy" weight. She is not the example I want my daughter to follow!

nonmember avatar Nancy

I don't watch shows like this. Offering someone who is obese $250,000 to lose the most weight is a recipe for disaster. My daughter turned this on last evening so we watched it, more out of morbid curiosity. And when the young woman Rachel came out, I saw a woman on the throes of anorexia. Keep in mind that she gained a great deal of weight due to emotional issues that she may or may not have dealt with. Gaining a great deal of weight is known as Disordered Eating. It's not a far stretch to turn that mindset into an Eating Disorder. I hope she does get the help she needs. Losing the amount of weight she did in the manner that she did is extremely difficult on the body. The organs can suffer big time. Hell, what about the dude, David, who lost 222 lbs. That's insane over a 6 mos. period or there abouts. I don't understand the draw of this show. I just hope that she will be okay.

nonmember avatar the4mutts

I think most of you are jealous. Congratulations to this woman on her amazing weight loss journey .. you look incredible! I bet it brings her to tears to see her before and after photo.

Jacee... Jacee2348

@the4mutts - no jealousy here.  I like to eat.  :) 

sandy... sandy2727

Geez let it go if she is happy & feels great then leave her alone!! Either your too fat or to skinny who the hell makes up these rules??

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