'Biggest Loser' pushed drug use to lose weight, ex-contestants say

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

Why Some 'Biggest Loser' Contestants Can't Help Gaining The Weight Back

Former contestants of "The Biggest Loser" claim the show encouraged drug use for weight loss, including amphetamines and diuretics.

"Bob Harper was my trainer," Joelle Gwynn of 2008's "Couples" season told the New York Post. "He goes away and his assistant comes in. He's got this brown paper bag that's bundled up. He says, 'Take this drug, it'll really help you.' It was yellow and black. I was like, 'What the f- -k is this?' "

After taking the pill once, Gwynn surmised, "People chastise Bill Cosby for allegedly offering meds to women, but it's acceptable to do to fat people to make them lose weight. I feel like we got raped, too."

"People would take amphetamines, water pills, diuretics, and throw up in the bathroom," said Season 2's Suzanne Mendonca, who also claimed she was forced to gain 40 pounds before she could even get on the show. "They would take their spin bikes into the steam room to work up a sweat. I vomited every single day. Bob Harper tells people to throw up: 'Good,' he says. 'You'll lose more calories.'"

Many former contestants sent emails to the publication after a study was released two weeks ago wherein Dr. Kevin Hall at the National Institutes of Health attributed weight gained after the show to changing metabolic rates, hormone levels and genetic predispositions.

To the contrary, some former contestants are claiming they had to take street drugs while starving themselves and then lie about how much weight they were actually losing.

Take a look back at season 16 of the hit show:

18 PHOTOS
Biggest Loser final one pound
See Gallery
'Biggest Loser' pushed drug use to lose weight, ex-contestants say
THE BIGGEST LOSER -- Season: 16 -- Pictured: Toma Dobrosavljevic -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE BIGGEST LOSER -- Season: 16 -- Pictured: Toma Dobrosavljevic -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE BIGGEST LOSER -- '1605' -- Pictured: Sonya Jones -- (Photo by: Ben Cohen/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE BIGGEST LOSER -- Season: 16 -- Pictured: Sonya Jones -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE BIGGEST LOSER -- 'Live Finale' Episode 1618 -- Pictured: (l-r) Alison Sweeney, Toma Dobrosavljevic -- (Photo by: Vivian Zink/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE BIGGEST LOSER -- 'Live Finale' Episode 1618 -- Pictured: Toma Dobrosavljevic -- (Photo by: Vivian Zink/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE BIGGEST LOSER -- 'Live Finale' Episode 1618 -- Pictured: Toma Dobrosavljevic -- (Photo by: Vivian Zink/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE BIGGEST LOSER -- 'Live Finale' Episode 1618 -- Pictured: Toma Dobrosavljevic -- (Photo by: Vivian Zink/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE BIGGEST LOSER -- 'Live Finale' Episode 1618 -- Pictured: (l-r) Toma Dobrosavljevic, Jessie Pavelka -- (Photo by: Vivian Zink/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE BIGGEST LOSER -- 'Live Finale' Episode 1618 -- Pictured: Sonya Jones -- (Photo by: Vivian Zink/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE BIGGEST LOSER -- 'Live Finale' Episode 1618 -- Pictured: (l-r) Rob Guiry, Sonya Jones, Toma Dobrosavljevic -- (Photo by: Vivian Zink/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE BIGGEST LOSER -- Episode 1610 -- Pictured:(l-r) Sonya Jones, Dolvett Quince -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE BIGGEST LOSER -- Episode 1610 -- Pictured: Sonya Jones -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE BIGGEST LOSER -- Episode 1601 -- Pictured:(l-r) Front Tier 1: Blake Benge, Toma Dobrosavljevic, Rondalee Beardslee, Jackie Pierson; Tier 2: Sonya Jones, JJ O'Malley,Emmy Lou Munoz, Jordan Alicandro; Tier 3: Zina Garrison, Andrea Wilamowski; Tier 4: Gina Haddon, Chandra Maple, Damien Woody, Mike Murburg, Vanessa Hayden, Woody Carter; Back Tier 5: Matthew Miller, Lori Harrigan-Mack, Scott Mitchell, Rob Guiry -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE BIGGEST LOSER -- Episode 1614 -- Pictured: (l-r) Sonya Jones, Jen Widerstrom -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE BIGGEST LOSER -- Episode 1616 -- Pictured: (l-r) Toma Dobrosavljevic, Dolvett Quince -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE BIGGEST LOSER -- '1603' Episode 1603 -- Pictured:(l-r) Woody Carter, Rondalee Beardslee, JJ O'Malley, Toma Dobrosavljevic -- Photo by: (Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

"Lie and say you were following the directive of intaking 1,500 calories — but I want you to do 800 calories or as little as you can," Harper allegedly told Gwynn.

"People were passing out in Dr. H's [Rob Huizenga] office at the finale weigh-in," says Season 2's Suzanne Mendonca. "On my season, five people had to be rushed to the hospital. He knew exactly what we were doing and never tried to stop it."

"'The Biggest Loser' doesn't save lives," Mendonca says. "It ruins lives. Mentally, emotionally, financially — you come back a different person. Half the people from my season have gotten divorced. The ripple effect isn't just weeks or months. It's years."

Representatives for "The Biggest Loser" have not yet responded to TheWrap's request for comment.

Read original story 'Biggest Loser' Pushed Drug Use to Lose Weight, Ex-Contestants Say At TheWrap

Read Full Story

From Our Partners