She might have lost 121lbs during her 2006 stint on The Biggest Loser, but former contestant Kai Hibbard claims that the television show's tactics are both emotionally abusive and physically dangerous.
Talking to the New York Post on Sunday, Jan. 18, Hibbard revealed contestants were sent evil texts, informing them of their imminent death and telling them they've picked out "fat-person" coffins to bury their bodies in.
Calling the show a "fat-shaming disaster," Hibbard said she only didn't abandon her place in the program because she was brainwashed to feel "so lucky to be there."
She claimed show guests are imprisoned in their hotel rooms, and later on the ranch, unable to talk to friends or family.
"I know that one of the contestants' children became very ill and was in the ICU," Hibbard said. "He was allowed to talk to his family, but he didn't want to leave, because the show would have been done with him."
Once at the ranch, contestants are thrown instantly into a 5-6 hour-a-day workout regimen. "My feet were bleeding through my shoes for the first three weeks,” she said.
And according to Hibbard, trainers enjoyed seeing contestants collapse mentally and physically. “They’d get a sick pleasure out of it,” she said. “They’d say, ‘It’s because you’re fat. Look at all the fat you have on you.’ And that was our fault, so this was our punishment.”
Hibbard revealed her own health was severely compromised by being on the show. “My hair was falling out,” she said. “My period stopped. I was only sleeping three hours a night.” To this day Hibbard says she suffers irregular periods and hair loss. “My thyroid, which I never had problems with, is now crap,” she added.
Not to mention the mental torture. “They would say things to contestants like, ‘You’re going die before your children grow up.’ ‘You’re going to die, just like your mother.’ ‘We’ve picked out your fat-person coffin’ — that was in a text message," she said.
In a statement to The Post, NBC insisted their contestants are always safe. “Our contestants are closely monitored and medically supervised. The consistent Biggest Loser health transformations of over 300 contestants through 16 seasons of the program speak for themselves,” they said.