SPOILER ALERT! Season 15 winner of the Biggest Loser, Rachel Fredrickson takes home the grand prize of $250,000! But does the cash prize come at the price of health? Many are wondering – did she really deserve to win after appearing too thin and unhealthy at the finale? Is it possible to have a Biggest Loser winner that is too thin?
Throughout Season 15 of the Biggest Loser, Rachel was always a competitor. As a former competitive swimmer, she went through a heartwarming transition rediscovering her inner athlete and losing an incredible amount of weight week after week – never disappointing her trainers or fans. But did she take the competition one step too far? Upon her reveal, trainers Bob and Jillian looked horrified. The words “you look great” never passed anyone’s lips. Her emaciated appearance on the finale Tuesday night was rather shocking and disappointing.
24-year old Rachel went from a beginning weight of 260 lbs to a teeny tiny weight of 105 lbs – the lowest body weight any contestant has ever weighed in at in the history of the show. At 5’4” this 105 lb weight puts Rachel at a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 18.0 (a number considered “underweight” on the BMI scale). So is it really fair to say that she has regained her “health” and is deserving of the quarter million dollar prize when it looks like she’s suffering from an eating disorder? With results like these, what message is this sending the at-home viewers who look to these contestants for inspiration?
Who were the runners up? In 3rd place was Bobby Saleem (28-years old) who went from 358 lbs to an amazing and healthy looking 170 lbs. And in 2nd place, David Brown (43-years old) who went through an even more incredible transformation losing 222 lbs (from 409 to 187 lbs)! Unfortunately these two men (who physically looked to be better role models for health) didn’t lose enough weight to take home the cash prize and they certainly had a hard time hiding their own surprise.
Should the next season of the Biggest Loser disqualify any contestant that exhibits an underweight BMI at the finale? It appears that the “weight loss for money” model has overshadowed the goal to become a “healthy” looking individual.