The Biggest Loser winner Rachel Frederickson, who revealed her thin frame on the show's finale after dropping 60 percent of her body weight, is responding to critics who speculated she went too far.
Frederickson started at 260 pounds and lost 155 in seven months. At 5’4” and 105 pounds, doctors are calling attention to her BMI of 18, which is "underweight" according to CDC standards. But Frederickson, who graces the new cover of People, reveals that though she’s overwhelmed by the response to her new weight, she does not have an eating disorder. “I’ve never felt better. I keep saying it: I am healthy,” she says in the interview [Tweet this quote!].
“Too enthusiastic” is how she describes her training, which consisted of six hours of exercise each day on 1,600 calories. While producers for the show are still backing her extreme weight loss, skeptics abound, including Biggest Loser host and former Shape cover model
“I understand and shared in the concern for Rachel at the finale,” Sweeney told People. “My hope is that she and all show contestants achieve life long health.”
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Other contestants have come forward both in favor of the show’s extreme weight loss and against it. Season 10 champion Patrick House lost nearly half his body weight on the show and has kept it off. “You can’t tell me I’m not healthier now than I was at 420 pounds,” he told People. But Kai Hibbard, a finalist from season 3, has been critical about her time on the show and the subsequent eating disorder she developed, citing that she wasn’t sleeping and stopped menstruating while the show’s trainers pushed her to get back on the treadmill.
Dolvett Quince, Frederickson’s trainer, admits this season’s weight loss was too much, and says he and Frederickson have discussed “getting her body back to a place where she has energy and muscle mass.” And Frederickson seems to agree. “I trained like an athlete for the finale," she says. "Now I am a girl in her real life.”