Social media erupts over 'Biggest Loser' winner - WNCN: News, Weather

Social media erupts over 'Biggest Loser' winner

Posted: Updated:
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A day after Rachel Fredrickson won the latest season of "The Biggest Loser," after shedding nearly 60 percent of her body weight, attention wasn't focused on her $250,000 win - but rather the criticism surrounding her loss.

Experts cautioned that regardless of her current weight, the criticism being levied on social media about her losing too much isn't helpful. A more constructive message is needed, they say, centering on body image and healthy living.

The 5-foot-4, 24-year-old Frederickson dropped from 260 pounds to 105 under the show's rigorous exercise and diet regimen - but also time spent on her own before the finale. She was a three-time state champion swimmer at Stillwater Area High School in Minnesota, and said she turned to sweets for solace after a failed romance and gained the weight over several years.

Frederickson's newly thin frame lit up Twitter on Wednesday, with many viewers pointing to the surprised expressions on the faces of trainers Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper during the show's Tuesday night finale. Many tweeted that Fredrickson looked anorexic and unhealthy, while others congratulated her for dropping 155 pounds.

Frederickson's body mass index, a measure of height and weight, is below the normal range, said Jillian Lampert, senior director of the Emily Program, an eating disorder treatment program based in St. Paul, Minn. But she said the criticism directed against Frederickson isn't helpful.

"As a society we often criticize people for being at higher weights - that's part of why we have the TV show 'The Biggest Loser' - and then we feel free to criticize lower weight," Lampert said.

A more constructive message to send young people would center on well-rounded health and the importance of eating well, moving well and sleeping well, she said.

"We certainly see a lot of people who struggle with eating disorders who use the same behaviors on that show to an extreme," she said. "That can't be helpful."

Joanne Ikeda, a dietitian and retired faculty member at the University of California at Berkeley's Department of Nutritional Sciences, added that focus needs to be on embracing body-size diversity.

"We are just obsessed with body size, women particularly. There's just tremendous body dissatisfaction," Ikeda said. "I'm sure even if she was the exact right size, someone wouldn't like the look of her fingers or the length of her hair."

"We should be happy we don't all look like Barbie and Ken," she said.

A listed phone number for Frederickson couldn't be found by The Associated Press late Wednesday. During an appearance on "Access Hollywood," Frederickson didn't directly respond to the criticism but said she intends to live a healthy lifestyle going forward.

"My journey was about finding that confident girl again. Little by little, challenge by challenge, that athlete came out. And it sparked inside me this feeling that I can do anything I can conceive. And I found that girl, and I'm just going to embrace her fully," she said.

In a statement released late Wednesday, NBC said it was committed to helping all of the show's past contestants live healthier lives.

Among the social media commentators was 36-year-old Shannon Hurd, who tweeted that Frederickson looked weak and unhealthy. In an interview Wednesday with AP, Hurd said she became anorexic at age 16 and has been recovering since she was 19.

"Looking at her 'after' photo, I guess I saw ... a piece of myself way back when, and it really just struck something deep down," Hurd said from her home in suburban Denver. "I don't know if she's anorexic, but I do think her weight loss is so extreme there is no way her loss can be maintained through normal habits, and unfortunately that leads to distorted thinking."

___

Follow Jeff Baenen on Twitter at -https://twitter.com/jeffbaenen

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Teen suspended for asking Miss America to prom

    Teen suspended for asking Miss America to prom

    Friday, April 18 2014 8:20 PM EDT2014-04-19 00:20:23 GMT
    YORK, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania high school student is in hot water for asking Miss America to prom during a question and answer session at school.Eighteen-year-old Patrick Farves said he received three days of in-school suspension Thursday because he asked Nina Davuluri to prom.The senior at Central York High School stood up and popped the prom question, then walked to the stage with a plastic flower. Davuluri just laughed and the students cheered.School officials heard about Farves' plan in...
    YORK, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania high school student is in hot water for asking Miss America to prom during a question and answer session at school.Eighteen-year-old Patrick Farves said he received three days of in-school suspension Thursday because he asked Nina Davuluri to prom.The senior at Central York High School stood up and popped the prom question, then walked to the stage with a plastic flower. Davuluri just laughed and the students cheered.School officials heard about Farves' plan in...
  • Pitt County Sheriff's Office gets grant to help DWI case backlog

    Pitt County Sheriff's Office gets grant to help DWI case backlog

    Friday, April 18 2014 7:50 PM EDT2014-04-18 23:50:46 GMT
    The Pitt County Sheriff’s Office hopes a new grant will cut down the wait time for driving while impaired cases slated for trial.
    The Pitt County Sheriff’s Office hopes a new grant will cut down the wait time for driving while impaired cases slated for trial.
  • Clogged Oregon Inlet keeps charter boats docked

    Clogged Oregon Inlet keeps charter boats docked

    Boat owners are concerned that the start of charter fishing season may leave them high and dry because the Oregon Inlet is clogged with sand.
    Boat owners are concerned that the start of charter fishing season may leave them high and dry because the Oregon Inlet is clogged with sand.
  • NationNationMore>>

  • Man charged in Kansas City-area highway shootings

    Man charged in Kansas City-area highway shootings

    Friday, April 18 2014 9:41 PM EDT2014-04-19 01:41:22 GMT
    Authorities announced charges Friday against a man suspected in connection with about a dozen recent highway shootings that have wounded three people in the Kansas City area.
    After nearly a month of reports of gunshots being fired at vehicles and more than 100 tips, authorities announced charges Friday against a Kansas City-area man suspected in connection with about a dozen highway shootings...
  • American identifies cleric in US terrorism case

    American identifies cleric in US terrorism case

    Friday, April 18 2014 6:51 PM EDT2014-04-18 22:51:27 GMT
    A New York jury has heard two widely differing descriptions of an Egyptian imam accused of carrying out terrorism offenses while he led a London mosque.
    A Seattle man told a jury Friday that an Egyptian cleric on trial on terrorism charges is the "very angry" imam he met in London years ago.
  • Study: Diabetic heart attacks and strokes falling

    Study: Diabetic heart attacks and strokes falling

    In the midst of the diabetes epidemic, a glimmer of good news: Heart attacks, strokes and other complications from the disease are plummeting.
    In the midst of the diabetes epidemic, a glimmer of good news: Heart attacks, strokes and other complications from the disease are plummeting.
  • NationalMore>>

  • Autopsy to ID dead boy; body cast off side of road

    Autopsy to ID dead boy; body cast off side of road

    Saturday, April 19 2014 3:01 AM EDT2014-04-19 07:01:44 GMT
    All Massachusetts authorities could say for sure is that they found the lifeless body of a small boy, apparently cast off the side of a highway.
    All Massachusetts authorities could say for sure is that they found the lifeless body of a small boy, apparently cast off the side of a highway.
  • Looming, creeping landslide splits home in Wyoming

    Looming, creeping landslide splits home in Wyoming

    Saturday, April 19 2014 2:31 AM EDT2014-04-19 06:31:26 GMT
    A sudden lurch in a creeping landslide in the northwest Wyoming resort town of Jackson split a house in two and forced workers to abandon efforts to stabilize the hillside.
    A sudden lurch in a creeping landslide in the northwest Wyoming resort town of Jackson split a house in two and forced workers to abandon just-begun efforts to stabilize the hillside.
  • Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

    Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

    Saturday, April 19 2014 1:23 AM EDT2014-04-19 05:23:46 GMT
    People who have accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's...
    People who have accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's...
Powered by WorldNow

1205 Front St., Raleigh
N.C., 27609

Telephone: 919.836.1717
Fax: 919.836.1687
Email: newstips@wncn.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.