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Is the 'Biggest Loser' Too Thin?

A Plainfield contestant looked fit and healthy, but did the winner go too far?

Trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels — and Plainfield resident Tanya Winfield — react to Rachel's weight loss during the "Biggest Loser" live finale. Credit: Screenshot
Trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels — and Plainfield resident Tanya Winfield — react to Rachel's weight loss during the "Biggest Loser" live finale. Credit: Screenshot
Plainfield's Tanya Winfield didn't win the at-home prize during Tuesday's live "Biggest Loser" finale, but she wowed the trainers and host Alison Sweeney with her slimmed-down physique and newfound confidence.

While the NBC show's cast was surprised by Winfield's progress, they seemed shocked for a different reason when fellow contestant Rachel Frederickson stepped onto the stage.

It was at Tuesday's live finale, filmed weeks after the three finalists went home to continue their weight-loss journeys on their own, that 24-year-old Frederickson was crowned "The Biggest Loser."

In fact, she's the biggest loser in the show's history: She logged the highest percentage of weight loss of any winner in the series' 15-season run.

A former competitive swimmer who was an athletic 150 pounds in the second-to-last episode, Frederickson's 59.62 percent weight loss has some critics calling her too thin. 

After starting the competition at 260 pounds, Frederickson lost a total of 155 pounds. At the finale, she appeared dramatically thinner than the last time viewers saw her as she won the "Biggest Loser" triathlon.

Viewers took to social media to express concern over Frederickson's appearance, and trainers Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper — who have yet to publicly react to Frederickson's win — appeared somber and shocked as Frederickson walked out onstage.

"I actually can't stop thinking about The Biggest Loser," one fan wrote on Twitter. "It was such an amazing night with a very weird ending. I hope Rachel is OK."

Some said the show should set new rules to prevent contestants from becoming underweight just to win the coveted title and $250,000 prize money.

"Perhaps #biggestloser should set a lower limit according to health guidelines and if they go below, no win," one fan wrote. Another agreed: "There needs to be a red line that disqualifies finalists for too much weight loss based on a minimum BMI threshold."

Other viewers were quick to point out that the criticisms about Frederickson's weight — and posts calling her anorexic — amount to body-shaming.

"#rachel from #BiggestLoser looks great!," a fan wrote on Twitter. "It's sad how unhealthy people post their #bully words of disgust. Proud of her!"

Watch Frederickson's "Biggest Loser" win.

Do you think the criticism of Rachel's weight loss is warranted? Did she go too far, or did she just play to win?


itsmeray February 05, 2014 at 05:26 PM
After all she went through to lose the weight if she went to far she needs encouragement and help with a proper maintenance diet not criticism. Then again I'm fat and short so I'm pretty anti criticism.
justyouraveragejoe February 05, 2014 at 10:19 PM
She has an eating disorder, over eating and aneroxia are the same problem. Hopefully the show will help her get this issue under control so she can stay at a healthy weight.
P-Ville Lifer February 06, 2014 at 02:54 PM
She doesn't look healthy at all; she looks like a walking skeleton. It's one thing to lose the extra weight but it's another thing to do it in a unhealthy way. The rapid weight loss has made her look older; she doesn't have much muscle tone either. I sincerely hope she gets some help before she has any serious health issues from becoming too skinny. Also I think it sends the wrong message to the many young people who watch the show; that you have to a walking skeleton to win. I can't believe the trainers on the show didn't monitor her weight loss and see what she was doing.

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