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'Biggest Loser' weight loss debate

By Kimberly Manning
On February 20, 2014

  • Tech ROTC students participate in an aviation training exercise Feb. 16. Jacqueline Atkielski

Jaws dropped and looks of confusion plastered the faces of "The Biggest Loser" audience as 24-year-old Rachel Frederickson walked across the stage as the winner earlier this month.  The looks of shock did not come from Frederickson winning the $250,000 grand prize, but rather the 105-pound frame that was accepting it.

Frederickson began the show at 250 pounds, causing her new weigh-in to be a 155-pound difference. Scores of tweets, blog posts and articles started releasing negative criticism toward Frederickson's new body as the finale aired.

"I am very healthy," she told People Magazine after being asked whether she had an eating disorder.

However, this blurb of assurance did not keep social media silent. "105 pounds? 60% loss? That's not healthy, by any definition. Hard to celebrate that." @DietsInReview tweeted after the telecast.  @CarlJeanne also tweeted critically about Frederickson's figure, saying, "#BLFinale so disappointed in Rachel. Just unbelievable how far she took her weight loss with so many young girls watching her every move."

"Rachel passed all the required medical tests ensuring she was healthy," the show's executive producer, Dave Broome, guaranteed-in an effort to do some public relations on NBC's behalf.

Frederickson told Entertainment Weekly, "I've officially found that proud, confident girl that I lost. I was an athletic, national-level swimmer, and to have that athlete come back again, it's just truly an amazing feeling and I'm going to embrace the new me and continue this journey," she said. "My body is going to balance and find its way with the new maintenance and it will be perfect."

It's a refreshing feeling to know that despite social media's incessant nagging, Frederickson is okay with ignoring their commentary and proudly showing off her hard work. 

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