'Biggest Loser' contestant claims she was told to gain weight so she would be eliminated
A former contestant on The Biggest Loser is coming forward to make the shocking claim that the show actually wanted her to gain weight.
Suzanne Mendonca, a former police officer from Long Island, New York, appeared on the show in 2005.
"They're manipulating the results of the show," she told Inside Edition. "About a month before I went on the show they said, 'Suzanne, you're gonna be on this show, we need you to gain an extra 30-40 pounds.'"
She added: "I probably put on an extra 20, 25 pounds."
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She said it wasn't just her that producers asked to pack on the pounds.
Mendonca told Inside Edition when the show went into production, producers targeted her for elimination because she was not "dramatic" enough.
She says the show's resident physician, Dr. Robert Huizenga, told her to take baking soda.
Mendonca said: "If you know anything about baking soda, it actually makes you retain water weight. So on the scale it's gonna show a person's increase of weight.
"So they are trying to manipulate the show and basically who goes home from the season on the show, who is actually eliminated. If somebody has the weight gain, they're gonna be eliminated from the TV show."
She did not take the baking soda and "just walked away from it, there was no way I was gonna ingest baking soda."
There is even a support group for former Biggest Loser contestants on Facebook who have shared similar stories.
"They are confirming everything I am saying and the truth that has transpired on this show," she said.
Mendonca declared: "Being on The Biggest Loser was the biggest mistake of my life."
The show's producer has said in a statement that its highest priority is contestants' safety.