"The Biggest Loser" producers are considering "small but significant tweaks" to the weight-loss competition after the anorexia controversy surrounding season 15 winner Rachel Frederickson, E! reported Feb. 11.
The producers are considering providing more support and check-ins for the contestants after they leave the Biggest Loser ranch. In past seasons, most contestants gained weight after leaving the ranch and being left on their own.
Season 15 winner Rachel Frederickson lost 110 pounds on the Biggest Loser ranch, but then lost an additional 45 pounds on her own after leaving the ranch.
The 5-foot-4 Frederickson, who weighed 260 pounds at the beginning of "The Biggest Loser," lost a total of 155 pounds and slimmed down to 105 pounds by the show's finale.
Rachel's emaciated body and gaunt face immediately fueled rumors she's suffering from the eating disorder anorexia or bulimia. Frederickson, a former competitive swimmer, insisted she's fine, saying her dramatic weight loss was due to a 1,600-calorie-a-day diet and working out over six hours a day.
Frederickson said she walked for hours every day at a treadmill desk, squeezed in daily gym workouts, and attended up to four exercise classes a day, including Zumba and spinning.
According to the body mass index chart, Frederickson is technically underweight. Her skeletal appearance drew alarmed gasps from trainers Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper during the show's finale. Harper later confessed he was floored by Rachel's drastic weight loss. "I was stunned," said Bob. "We've never had a contestant come in at 105 pounds."
Frederick's trainer, Dolvett Quince, author of the 3-1-2-1 Diet, defended her extreme weight loss, writing on Facebook: "Please try not to look at one slice of Rachel's journey and come to broad conclusions."
Meanwhile, former "Biggest Loser" winners Ali Vincent, Olivia Ward, and Patrick House asked fans not to assume Frederickson has anorexia when we don't know the full story. Vincent, House and Ward said they all regained some weight after their finales and cut back on their strict diets and exercise regimens, and so will Frederickson.
If Rachel continues to look dangerously thin over the next few months, then it's time to worry that she may have anorexia or bulimia. But it's too early to tell now, so people shouldn't judge, they said.
"I'm hoping she will follow her plan to get back to her fighting weight," said Vincent. "If in a few months she's still exactly where she is right now, then it's our responsibility to get her some help."