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Kai Hibbard slams 'The Biggest Loser' as "a fat-shaming disaster"


UPI News Service, 01/20/2015 

Former "The Biggest Loser" contestant Kai Hibbard has spoken out against the reality competition again.

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The third-season contestant slammed "The Biggest Loser" in an interview with the New York Post. Hibbard -- who has been publicly slamming the show for years -- told the publication participants are pushed to exercise and lose weight without regard for their safety, in addition to being closely monitored and afforded no privacy.

"The whole [expletive]ing show is a fat shaming disaster that I'm embarrassed to have participated in," she declared. "You just think you're so lucky to be there [at the time] that you don't think to question or complain about anything."

Hibbard claimed contestants are forced to sign away rights to their own story lines, and are banned from speaking badly of the show. Injuries and health complications are reportedly common but often not televised, and trainers allegedly motivate by harsh means.

"They would say things to contestants like, 'You're going to die before your children grow up,'" she said. "'You're going to die, just like your mother.' 'We've picked out your fat-person coffin' -- that was in a text message."

Hibbard started the season at 262 pounds and weighed 144 at the finale, where she came in second place. Her 118-pound loss is far from uncommon, as evidenced by controversial season 15 winner Rachel Frederickson, who lost 155 pounds -- over 59% of her body weight.

"In an ideal world this show would go away entirely," Hibbard wrote in a follow-up on Facebook. "I believe that it perpetuates false stereotypes that overweight people are just lazy or lack willpower. I also believe that it is not only detrimental to the health of participants, but that it is detrimental to the mental health of the viewer."

"The Biggest Loser" premiered in 2004, and is in the midst of a 16th season. Longtime trainer Jillian Michaels left the series after season 15 over concern for Frederickson, other contestants and her own portrayal on the show, and was replaced by Jessie Pavelka and Jennifer Widerstrom.



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