Three former "Biggest Loser" winners said it's unfair to rush to judgment and assume season 15 winner Rachel Frederickson has anorexia or bulimia.
"Whether it's a healthy weight or not, it's not OK for people to put words on her like 'anorexic,'" season 11 winner Olivia Ward told People. "That's disgusting. You're diagnosing without knowing her story. I feel so bad for Rachel because it really robbed her of a special moment in her life."
Season 10 winner Patrick House agreed, saying Frederickson's jaw-dropping 155-pound weight loss may be extreme, but she did what she had to do to win the weight-loss competition.
"She did what she had to do," said House, who once weighed 424 pounds and now weighs 220 pounds. "Rachel's transformation was like any 'Biggest Loser' contestant. She had to do the best she possibly could because a quarter of a million dollars was up for grabs."
Season five winner Ali Vincent agreed that Frederickson pulled out all the stops to win the competition, but said she'll likely regain some of the weight as she resumes more normal eating and workout patterns — which all the past winners did.
"Rachel chose to win," said Vincent, who once weighed 234 pounds. "I know what it's like. I gave it every single thing I had. I was working out from 10 in the morning to 2 in the morning. Is that healthy? No! But it's a conscious adult decision to win. I weighed 122 pounds at the finale. I took a drink of water and I gained weight back."
All three former winners said those alarmed by Frederickson's gaunt body should realize that Rachel will eat more and exercise less now that the competition is over. The 5-foot-4 Frederickson, who once tipped the scales at 260 pounds, weighed 105 pound at the finale.
Despite widespread anorexia rumors, Rachel said she followed a 1,600-calorie daily diet and worked out over six hours a day in the three months before the finale.
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."
Frederick's trainer, Dolvett Quince, author of The 3-1-2-1 Diet, defended her extreme weight loss on Facebook: "Biggest Loser is a journey which has its ups and downs. Please try not to look at one slice of Rachel's journey and come to broad conclusions. Rachel's health is, and always has been, my main concern and her journey to good health has not yet ended!!"
Meanwhile, Bob Harper confessed he was "stunned" by Frederickson's extreme weight loss. Harper, who has been a trainer on "The Biggest Loser" since 2004, said the weight-loss competition has never had a winner who weighed so little. "I was stunned," he said. "We've never had a contestant at 105 pounds."