Skip to main content

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

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.

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.

Story continues below advertisement

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?

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter