'The Biggest Loser's Bob Harper Gives Disappointing Statement on Finale Fallout
It has been a weird week for fans of The Biggest Loser. The competitive weight loss show came under fire when viewers at home saw the massive weight loss of the winner, Rachel Frederickson. At 5'4" and 105 pounds, fans were concerned that Frederickson had lost too much weight — yet she was still crowned the biggest loser. Though he stayed quiet about the issue for several days after the final show, Biggest Loser trainer Bob Harper has finally responded to Rachel Frederickson's weight loss. His response is pretty disappointing.
What people don't understand is, when the contestants leave to go home...they're in charge of themselves... I had not seen her until that night, and so when she walked out, I was just kind of like, 'Whoa.' And I've been on the show since the beginning, forever.
Sorry Bob, but I'm not sure if I buy that. Yes, he's right that when the contestants go back to their normal lives, they're no longer under the observation of their trainers and other support staff. At the same time, the contestants have been provided with months of physical training and nutritional counseling, and whatever they do at home is most likely a reflection of what they learned from the show.
On the show, the contestants — who begin in the obese weight range — can lose a lot of weight per week, sometimes as much as ten pounds. For months, all they are focused on is dieting and exercising in hopes of losing the most weight and staying on the show for another week.
Now, Rachel could have decided that she didn't want to lose more weight, but what options would she have then? She hadn't been trained on maintaining a specific weight — she was trained to lose, lose, lose in order to win the ultimate prize (which comes with a pretty sweet monetary prize in addition to a new body.)
Bob may be saying that the contestants have choices after the show but it's not exactly fair to Rachel to say that her "extra" weight loss was completely separate from the show. The show trained Rachel to lose weight, and yet somehow they are surprised that Rachel actually lost a lot of weight?
We don't have to blame Bob Harper for Rachel's extreme weight loss (if you even think that anyone should be blamed at all), but we do have to recognize that the show played a big part in establishing Rachel's weight loss regime — even after it was over.