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Host Rachael Ray eats a fried zucchini spaghetti dish during a taping of The Rachael Ray Show in New York. (DAVID M. RUSSELL/The Associated Press)
Host Rachael Ray eats a fried zucchini spaghetti dish during a taping of The Rachael Ray Show in New York. (DAVID M. RUSSELL/The Associated Press)

Teen sues Rachael Ray for ‘outrageous’ weight-loss regimen Add to ...

When it comes to fitness, it’s no pain, no gain, as the saying goes, right? Why else would anyone voluntarily participate in gruelling boot-camp-style training? But getting yelled at by a fitness instructor and being pushed to one’s physical limits is not suited for everyone, and too much pain can discourage some people from tackling their weight gain altogether.

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According to Us Weekly magazine, one young woman has filed a lawsuit against the Rachael Ray Show for an unspecified amount, accusing the food television star and her team for being “grossly negligent, careless, reckless, wanton, and outrageous” in their efforts to make her lose weight.

Christina Pagliarolo, then a high school student, appeared on the show in 2011, seeking help to lose 70 pounds (31.8 kilograms) for her senior prom. Pagliarolo was 18 years old and weighed 260 pounds (118 kg) at the time.

But in her lawsuit, she alleges that the show’s trainer yelled and screamed at her during their workouts “in a manner that caused Plaintiff to feel anxious, demeaned and threatened,” Us Weekly reports. In one incident, the trainer allegedly had her training on a stair-climbing machine and, in spite of her protests, ramped up the speed until she fell off. In another session, she was made to participate in a hike until her legs were “extraordinarily weak and painful,” causing her to collapse, she claims.

A representative for the show told the magazine it had not received the lawsuit, but would defend itself if it materialized. Us Weekly did not report whether Ray and her team successfully helped the young woman reach her goal.

Regardless of whether she lost the intended weight or not, it’s unlikely that she would have managed to keep it off, given how traumatized she claims to have been by the ordeal.

When it comes to obesity, simply scaring or badgering someone into exercising is not a long-term solution. More often, such tactics actually dissuade people from becoming physically active if they’re encouraged to believe it’s all about humiliation, tears and working out until you drop, as Ottawa-based obesity expert Yoni Freedhoff noted while scrutinizing the effects of the popular weight-loss show The Biggest Loser. And even worse, the rapid weight loss that results from these extreme diet and exercise programs actually slows down people’s metabolism, which makes them susceptible to gaining it all back again.

Still, there are some people who believe they perform their best when they have a drill sergeant-like instructor whipping them into shape. Would you hire a trainer to yell at you?

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