Entertainment Biggest loser contestants drugged

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  1. Boomer

    Boomer Who is your daddy and what does he do?

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    ‘Biggest Loser’ drugged us so we’d lose weight
    Lezlye Donahue survived Hurricane Katrina. Going on “The Biggest Loser,” she says, was worse than that.

    “It’s my biggest nightmare,” she says, “and it’s with me to this day.”

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    Lezlye Donahue in 2007.Photo: Getty Images
    Following a controversial study that claims to explain why almost all “Biggest Loser” contestants regain massive amounts of weight, numerous ex-Losers reached out to The Post to dispute its findings — exclusively revealing that the show encouraged contestants to take street drugs while starving themselves and to lie about how much weight they were losing.

    The federally funded study, conducted by Dr. Kevin Hall at the National Institutes of Health and published two weeks ago, says changing metabolic rates, hormone levels, and genetic predispositions explain post-show weight gain.

    What’s missing, former Losers tell The Post, is any examination of the show’s secret and brutal tactics, which include providing illicit drugs to contestants and submitting them to questionable medical exams by the show’s resident doctor, Rob Huizenga, known as “Dr. H.”

    Huizenga collaborated with Hall on the NIH’s study.

    “People were passing out in Dr. H’s 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.”

    Many contestants return with grave medical issues they had never suffered before.

    “That show is so corrupt,” a source close to production says.

    This source confirms that show trainer Bob Harper and one of his assistants have supplied contestants with Adderall and “yellow jackets” — pills that contain ephedra extract. Ephedra is used to promote weight loss and boost energy, and was banned by the FDA in 2004.

    “Bob Harper was my trainer,” says Joelle Gwynn, of 2008’s “Couples” season. “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?’ ”

    Gwynn says she took the pill, once.

    “I felt jittery and hyper,” she says. “I went and told the sports medicine guy. The next day, Dr. H gave us some lame explanation of why they got added to our regimen and that it was up to us to take them . . . 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.”

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    Dr. Rob Huizenga (left) and trainer Bob Harper allegedly urged contestants to take meds and go hungry.Photo: WireImage; Getty Images
    Huizenga denied the claim in an e-mail to The Post.

    “Nothing could be further from the truth,” it read. “Contestants are told at the start of the show that there is zero tolerance for any weight-loss drugs. Urine drug screens and the evaluation of serial weights are repeatedly used to flush out possible illicit use.”

    Harper, Gwynn says, told her off-camera to lie about how much she was eating and losing. In keeping her daily log, Gwynn says Harper told her, “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.”

    “People would take amphetamines, water pills, diuretics, and throw up in the bathroom,” Season 2’s Mendonca says. “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.’ ”

    Huizenga told The Post that contestants “rarely” get to the point of dizziness or fainting.

    “Furthermore, I educate contestants that proper caloric intake is essential to fat loss both over the short and long term,” he said in the e-mail.

    Harper did not return The Post’s request for comment. The NIH directed The Post to NBC, the network that has aired the show for 17 seasons. NBC also declined to comment, but the show’s producers issued a statement to The Post.

    ‘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.’

    - Joelle Gwynn, a 2008 contestant
    “The safety and well-being of our contestants is, and always has been, paramount,” it reads. “We prohibit the use of any illegal substances, in addition to the many other rules and procedures of the show that are designed to ensure safety.”

    “That show is an atrocity,” says Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, who specializes in obesity at the University of Ottowa. “This approach is not endorsed by anyone in the medical community. NBC [has] made an awful lot of money off of damaging these individuals.”

    Freedhoff knows both Huizenga and Hall at the NIH. He says the study’s findings aren’t conclusive.

    “This show permanently damages people’s metabolic rates,” Freedhoff says, “but it’s impossible to say why this has happened.”

    Freedhoff says it’s extremely rare for an obese person to permanently lose half their body weight through diet and exercise: surgery is the only way, so there will never be a control group to prove the study’s thesis.

    “One of the reasons this adaptation seems to be so severe and irreversible,” he says, “could be due to psychological stress.”

    Every contestant who spoke to The Post cites this very factor in their post-show weight gain.

    “‘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.”

    For some contestants, the torture begins well before filming.

    “When I was going through the applicant process, they told me, ‘You’re not fat enough,’ ” Mendonca says. She was 5-foot-6 and says she weighed 229 pounds, morbidly obese by NIH standards.

    “They said, ‘You need to gain 40 pounds. Keep eating.’ ” Mendonca entered the show at 255 pounds.

    “They manipulate you,” says Lezlye Donahue. A single mom to one young son, Donahue was depressed, in debt and vulnerable when casting directors spotted her. She was given a free consult with Huizenga.

    “He says to me, ‘If you don’t do something today, you are going to die.’ ” After Katrina, the 5-foot-5 Donahue had gone from 135 pounds to 250. “Then he made a fist and opened his hand very slightly and said, ‘This is your heart. It won’t open all the way, and the reason is: you’re fat.’ ”

    Like all participants, Donahue was separated from family and friends, contact completely cut off. For her season, producers installed contestants in a former psychiatric hospital and put 12 obese contestants in one bedroom in the LA heat, with no air conditioning.

    “It was hot as hell, and the smell was horrible,” Donahue says.

    The contestants were forced to shower together with no curtains or barriers of any kind. There were also no working toilets during Donahue’s season, so producers made these severely overweight contestants squeeze into Port-a-Potties — a challenge even for thin people, and yet another humiliation.

    Donahue’s daily food intake consisted of seven asparagus sticks and 3 ounces of turkey. Once eliminated, all contestants go home and are expected to keep losing weight, with no support from the show. They’re contractually obligated to weigh in on the show’s finale.

    “I wasn’t going to go, but they threaten to sue you,” Donahue says.

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    Suzanne Mendonca regained her weight and no longer has her job as a cop.Photo: Getty Images; Helayne Seidman
    Since the show, she’s gained all the weight back. She says she lost her job, suffers from depression, and has thousands of dollars in medical bills as a result of the trauma her body went through.

    “I read that [NIH] study, and there’s so much more that people don’t know,” she says. “There are nurses sitting there [filling people] with IV packs. I took away an eating disorder. I have nightmares about it.”

    Numerous contestants told The Post that they were contacted throughout the years by Huizenga, who said he was working on a study and asked them to fly to LA so he could evaluate them.

    “This is without a doubt the most important research project I have ever been involved in,” Huizenga wrote to Mendonca, who shared an e-mail dated Dec. 2, 2010, with The Post. He goes on to promise “a wild Hollywood party to follow.”

    “After the show, I was so physically ill that it took a while to address the psychological ramifications,” says Kai Hibbard (Season 3). She never saw drugs on set: “Not my season,” she says. “I’ve heard the stories about other seasons, but can’t confirm.”

    Before his Season 2 finale, San Francisco Police Officer Mark Yesitis dumped 17 pounds of water weight. “I was probably near death,” he says.

    Months earlier, after he was sent home but before the finale, Yesitis experienced unbearable pain. “I had my gall bladder removed,” he says. “I’d never had issues with my gall bladder before the rapid weight loss.”

    More alarming: “The day after my surgery, I ran five miles,” he says. “My doctor was very angry. But that’s how brainwashed I was.”

    Yesitis has suffered from depression. “I see a lot of bad stuff,” he says. “I’ve seen people’s brains outside their heads
     
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  2. crazypreacher

    crazypreacher Hey yo

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  3. AmishGirl

    AmishGirl Well-Known Member VIP

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    “I felt jittery and hyper,” she says. “I went and told the sports medicine guy. The next day, Dr. H gave us some lame explanation of why they got added to our regimen and that it was up to us to take them . . . 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.”

    Ah, yes, the old "like rape" metaphor. Somehow, I think there's a SLIGHT difference .... :ucoffee:
     
  4. joyceface

    joyceface Queen of Everything VIP

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    Whaaaaa I went on a show to lose weight and they made me lose weight. Whaaaaa
     
  5. SuperFarts

    SuperFarts Well-Known Member

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    And yet theyre still huge.

    In Jackie voice:
    "Hey, what do you call a fat psychic?"
    "A four chin teller!"

    [​IMG]
     
  6. idiotbox

    idiotbox Looking for a dime and found a quarter. VIP

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    i was just reading this article, color me surprised.
     
  7. AmishGirl

    AmishGirl Well-Known Member VIP

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    Urban Dictionary: Fat Girl Crying
    Signals the end of a party or concert, or closing time of a nightclub or bar. At the end of any social gathering there will always, always be a fat girl crying.
    * Time to go, fat girls are crying.
    * 'What time are we leaving?'
    '5 past fat girl crying.'
     
  8. Bye You!

    Bye You! The n word guy Gold

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    This! I wish someone would give ME a wrapped paper bag of speed.
     
  9. Tipsey Russell

    Tipsey Russell VIP Extreme Gold

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    i'd bang that broad in the black dress looking like that

    fucking right I would
     
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  10. Murcielago

    Murcielago Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast

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    This is a story about the Brit version, right? I don't get why the Canadian doc took a shot at NBC.
     
  11. AmishGirl

    AmishGirl Well-Known Member VIP

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    questionable medical exams by the show’s resident doctor, Rob Huizenga, known as “Dr. H.”

    Where is this Dr's Office?!? :yay:
     
  12. FishySausage

    FishySausage Original Nuttah VIP Gold

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    So extreme weight loss tactics that aren't sustainable don't keep weight off???
    Who knew? :dontknow:
     
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  13. DiamondGoddess

    DiamondGoddess Born Ready for My Close-Up! Gold

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    The regimen they put those poor people thru on that show is soooo horrible, and unrealistic!!!

    I'm not surprised...
     
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  14. DiamondGoddess

    DiamondGoddess Born Ready for My Close-Up! Gold

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    Dude is a "Doctah to de Stahs!" in LA.
     
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  15. PI Nate

    PI Nate Disenfranchised since 1984... Gold

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    So a bunch of fatties regained weight when unsupervised, did I get that right?
     
  16. crazypreacher

    crazypreacher Hey yo

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    Teh Biggest Loose Skin
     
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  17. AmishGirl

    AmishGirl Well-Known Member VIP

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  18. Bye You!

    Bye You! The n word guy Gold

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    DiamondGoddess likes this.
  19. Samurai

    Samurai Well-Known Member VIP

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    Wait, a "reality show" contains a bunch of scripted, manipulated and misleading information!?!?

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. DiamondGoddess

    DiamondGoddess Born Ready for My Close-Up! Gold

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    :snicker:

    WhoTF has got the time for that, short of a Lalawood Stah! who is already on the pre-production payroll for a new film?!!!

    :facepalm: