Two former contestants from NBC’s The Biggest Loser came forward and admitted how their weight was only short-lived and basically everyone they know has struggled with health issues and regained their weight.
They are both in a constant contact with other contestants from the show in a “private alumni” Facebook group.
The 36-year-old New York-based police officer, Suzanne Mendonca, who lost 90lbs on the show told The New York Post: ”NBC never does a reunion. Why? Because we’re all fat again.”
Ms Mendonca, together with Rulon Garner, who walked off the show after losing 173lbs disclosed NBC’s abusive treatment towards the contestants.
Today, she is pre-diabetic, suffers from a shoulder injury as a result of the show`s punishing workout and has to take blood-pressure pills.
Here is Suzanne Mendonca pictured left during the show and on the right only one year after.
The hit show was launched in 2004 and around 200.000 people audition for it every season. 7 million people watched the show every week with a net estimate of $100 million annually in advertisement sales. It’s no coincidence that a show like this was launched in a country where two-thirds of the population is overweight.
Here is Rulon Garner, age 44, pictured on the left when he joined the show and on the right two years later.
I was eating baby food. I’d wrap myself in garbage bags to sweat. We’d use the sauna for six hours a day… We would work out for four hours a day.
People were passing out in the doctor’s office.
He even claims that he was approached by the producers of the show and warned to not mess with the Biggest Loser otherwise they would destroy his name.
Many participants were intentionally kept in their rooms like prisoners to keep them from leaking storylines, their laptops were bugged and they were not allowed to call home for weeks at a time.
Here is Kai Hibbard pictured at the start of the third series.
She said: ‘The whole f***ing show is a fat-shaming disaster that I’m embarrassed to have participated in! There’s a moral and ethical question here when you take people who are morbidly obese and work them out to the point where they vomit, all because it makes for good TV.”
When she was selected for the show she was flown to LA and literally kept in her room and if she dared to exit the hotel would inform the show`s producers.
All of them had to sign a contract giving away their rights and they were all obligated to not speak negatively about the show.
Another participant who wanted to stay anonymous said:
“The camera light on my MacBook would sometimes come on when I hadn’t checked in, it was like Big Brother was always watching you,”’ she told The Post.
In the upcoming days 14 of 50 finalists were taken to a location called “the ranch” where they had no choice, but to work out in seclusion for dangerous lengths of time, sometimes up to eight hours straight! These brutal workouts would leave their feet bleeding and many collapsed during the exercises.
Here is Rachel Frederickson, who sparked nationwide concern because she lost 155 in the show, which is too much for that short period of time.
One of The Biggest Loser trainers, Jullian Michaels ( pictured below) left the show and told the People magazine that she was “deeply concerned: about the “poor care of the contestants.”
It`s crazy how our society still puts tons of pressure on people to be thin and it doesn’t care if they abuse themselves chasing an elusive physical perfection.