Rachel’s disturbing weight loss is Biggest Loser’s latest frightening reveal

The Biggest Loser‘s latest winner is Rachel Frederickson, who lost a total of 155 pounds and a record 60 percent of her body weight, showing up at the finale weighing just 105 pounds and looking shockingly thin. Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels’ faces said it all, and Jillian’s mouth said even more: “Oh my god.”

While there are people blindly celebrating her win (People even used an exclamation point: “While all three finalists boasted impressive weight loss on the scale, it was Rachel who shed the highest percentage of body weight, having dropped 155 lbs. to end the season at 105 lbs. and nab the title of The Biggest Loser!”), others have pointed out that her BMI is now too low. Some have gone much further in their assessment of her health.

At 105 and 5’4″, that makes her underweight, according to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services BMI calculator. As E! News pointed out, she’s significantly below WeightWatchers’ “healthy weight range” for someone of her height. (Of course, it’s not possible to diagnose her health by appearance alone, though the fact that the trainers were visibly shocked does say something.)

While contestants on the show have lost 15 tons of weight over 15 seasons, and have often transformed their lives and health in significant ways, there have reveals that are damning instead of inspirational, ones that detail the true cost of losing weight in the context of a competitive television show.

For example, a former contestant previously discussed how the show gave her an eating disorder, while others intentionally gained weight to game the system. More than four years ago, the show threatened contestants after some talked to the press about the disturbing methods they used at the ranch to lose weight, which is exactly what representatives from a show that’s proud of its commitment to health and wellness would do.

Frankie leads Big Brother's parade of delusion

Frankie on Big Brother

Heading into the finale, the delusion continues, with a re-appearance by evicted Frankie.

Related: The unwatchable cast of Fox's Utopia keeps yelling and screaming.


Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.