The Biggest Loser: How Much is Too Much Weight to Lose?

  • Posted on: 13 May 2009
  • By: mokshalom

I watched the Biggest Loser finale last night and was disappointed that my favorite, the cutie Mike Morelli, lost to the less wholesome Helen Phillips by a mere 5 pounds. Mike, who lost more than he weighs now, has hit a healthy weight of approximately 180 pounds, whereas Helen slimmed herself down to a scary 117.

While both Mike and Tara looked fabulous, Helen did not look healthy with her scrawny arms and emaciated look. She did not seem to have built up much in the way of lean muscle (judging from the shape of her arms, which were way too noticeable with their loose skin in her sleeveless dress).

Now people all over the Internet are speculating about Helen's health and methods for achieving this weight loss, and anorexia is the word being bantered about.

There does seem to be something wrong with a weight-loss contest where the kid who went from almost 400 pounds to less than 200 loses to a woman who didn't have as much weight to begin with, and then appears to have starved herself for the last 30 days of the competition. (The Biggest Loser is determined by percentage of weight loss, not number of pounds lost.)

In contrast, the still fairly heavy duo of Carla and Joelle looked absolutely stunning compared to the scarecrow look of Helen.

Helen, whose husband may be laid off with the Chrysler bankruptcy, probably had good reason to take whatever means necessary to secure that money for her family. She just did what it took to win. But the producers at the Biggest Loser need to take a step back here and consider the potentially damaging effects of focusing solely on "percentage of weight loss."

It is a medically proven fact that being 20 pounds underweight is less healthy for you than being 20 pounds overweight.

So at some point, they need to tell their contestants to stop. Helen lost over 50% of her body weight, but would it have been better had she lost 75%?

I am all for people getting into shape. Carrying an extra 100 pounds of weight around is one of the worst things you can do to yourself. But we should not go from one extreme to another. We don't all need to be model stick-thin. A few curves won't kill you - but a skeletal, anorexic body will.