The newest season of The Biggest Loser hit Australian screens this week, and since then, it’s been all anybody has talked about.
The biggest topic of discussion? The inclusion of Nikki, a 25-year-old mum whose started weight is just 78kg.
Many viewers were confused at how a woman who weighs just 7kg more than the average Australian woman could be featured on a show where the winner is determined by who can lose the most weight in a set amount of time.
Women who weigh the same as Nikki – who said her partner hadn’t seen her naked in three years – said that seeing her on the show made them feel insecure about their own body image.
"If I weigh the same as Nikki, does that also mean I need to go on a weight loss show?" one woman wrote.
But the show's current trainers, past contestants and even other viewers have emphasised that this season of the show is all about the "total transformation".
"Firstly, I think it was noticeable for everybody straight away was the contestants are so much smaller than what we’ve had in the past," one of the show's trainers, Shannan Ponton, told Mamamia.
'The Biggest Loser: Transformed' is coming to TEN in 2017! We're back with an empowering new season all about body, mind and soul. @shannanponton will return joined by brand new trainer @libbybabet and our wonderful host @fionafalkiner will also be back to support our contestants on a journey that will change their lives. Stay tuned!
“The smallest girl [Nikki] is only 78 kilos as her starting weight. But her weight was affecting her life massively. She wouldn’t go out in public, and people might look at her and say ‘Oh, she’s only got to lose 10 or 15 kilos'.
"If you feel uncomfortable because you're five kilograms or 50 kilograms overweight, it doesn't matter - you still have that feeling."
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It's a sentiment echoed by the show's network, Channel Ten, saying Nikki's weight struggles are "relatable".
"Nikki is the smallest of our contestants and relatable as a new mum who wants to get her life and health back on track," a Channel Ten spokesperson said in a statement to Mamamia.
"She says her weight has been a constant issue that gets in the way of her relationship and has led to a lack of self-confidence.
"According to her body mass index, which is based on her weight and height, it is suggested a healthy weight for Nikki is 15-20kgs lighter."
Ponton said that it was important to remember that Nikki's transformation would be about "mind, body and soul".
"We want to give people the skills they need to transform their lives," he said.
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