LIFESTYLE

Critics Slam The Biggest Loser Winner As Being 'Skeletal' - We Think She Deserves A Round Of Applause

06/02/2014 10:56 GMT | Updated 06/02/2014 10:59 GMT

The Biggest Loser show may seem like bad reality TV - watching severely obese people enter into rigid dieting and exercise regimes and then seeing them shed the weight - but should the overall goal be applauded?

That's the question raised after the latest winner, Rachel Frederickson, who scooped the $250,000 prize was criticised for taking her weight loss too far.

The 24-year-old was revealed to have gone from 260lbs (117kg) to 105lbs (47kg), and critics launched an attack at how she'd lost too much weight and looked 'skeletal'.

But we're stumped. Surely it's something to be congratulated on? She lost 60% of her body weight, after all.

rachel

Yet Jezebel - voicing the same concerns as us - reporting: "Upon the big reveal of 24-year-old Frederickson's post-diet body, Twitter basically exploded with gasps of concern and dismay that the winner had gone too far. One diet blogger didn't mince words, writing, "There was nothing athletic about the waif-thin appearance of Rachel tonight."

""Another referred to her as "way too thin." The internet, ever a place of nuance and restraint, deemed Frederickson's body skeletal, gross, and "anorexic," as though that's something you can diagnose from your couch. One demanded that the show's runner-up, who lost 222 lbs, be given the cash prize and Frederickson be given a trip to an "eating disorder rehab facility"."

Story continues below the slideshow:

Weight m

rachel

The main point of focus for critics is that her BMI is now below what is meant to be normal. At 5 feet 5, she is officially underweight. However, as we have reported on The Huffington Post, BMI is not necessarily the most accurate way of recording a person's weight.

However, after finalist Kai Hibbard from season three was revealed to have developed an eating disorder through her experiences with the show, scrutiny has fallen on the tactics around how contestants are made to lose weight.

For her part, Frederickson says: "It's scary - I finally came out of hiding and shared my story - and I had to say I'm going to embrace being me and be different. Just to know I can take control and do what I want. It's okay to ask for help and follow your own path."

Since the uproar, Frederickson has declined to respond directly to the critics but she has said that she lost weight under supervision of medical experts and training staff. She credits healthy food eating five small meals a day with a maximum intake of 1,600 calories. Her meals were a mix of carbs, fat and protein.

rachel

LA Times reported: "In addition, she said, "I worked out a ton." That included spending her working hours walking at a treadmill desk and then wedging in extra fitness classes and workouts where she could.

""I'm extremely proud of the way I lost the weight," she said, later adding: "I followed the advice and supervision of the medical team at 'The Biggest Loser' the entire journey.""

NY Daily News said it best: "It makes for an odd moment — the former swimmer, who once recalled being so ashamed of her weight she hid from her own family, now being chastised for shedding the pounds."