The cause of Biggest Loser Bob Harper’s heart attack may have been revealed by a source close to the celebrity trainer. While the 51-year old trainer has released a statement to media citing genetic reasons as the cause for his scare, sources close to Harper worry that he may be “pushing himself too hard.”
Harper was admitted to the hospital two weeks ago after suffering a heart attack while working out at a New York City gym. It has been reported that a doctor at the scene attempted to resuscitate the celebrity trainer using CPR and a defibrillator, but he slipped into unconsciousness.
The trainer regained consciousness two days later and has since been released from the hospital, but has reportedly not yet been given the all clear from his doctor to fly home to Los Angeles.
Reports began to circulate late Monday after Harper posted a photo from a hospital bed to his Instagram account with a caption explaining the situation.
Harper thanked his rescue shit-zhu Karl for being a “great nurse” as well as his friends and family for taking care of him. In the post, the trainer explains that he is feeling better and is “just taking it easy.” In a post on twitter, the trainer said he was “on the mend now” and thanked his fans for their “outpouring of messages and support.”
Speaking to TMZ yesterday, Harper explained that the attack was the result of a genetic condition that saw his mother pass away from a heart attack.
One Us Weekly source close to the trainer has confirmed the condition, saying that “it is very scary, but it runs in his family.” In the same article, the magazine speaks to another source who worries that the 51-year-old’s intensive workout schedule may have contributed to the heart attack.
Following an 11-year run as a trainer on the popular weight loss show The Biggest Loser“, Harper took over hosting duties in 2015 following the departure of Alison Sweeney.
Harper faced allegations in 2008 of encouraging former contestant Joelle Gwynn to take weight loss drugs to boost her performance on the show. Speaking to media, Gwynn likened being encouraged to take the drugs to rape.
“I felt jittery and hyper. The next day, [the show’s resident doctor, Robert Huizenga] 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.”
At the time, Harper vehemently denied the allegations.
“These allegations are absolutely false and are in direct conflict with my lifelong devotion to health and fitness. Safety is paramount in my training regimen and, while demanding, my approach has always focused on the overall well-being of contestants as they lose significant weight and educate themselves, for the first time, on living a healthy lifestyle.”
The Biggest Loser has faced mounting criticism from healthcare professionals after former contestants have spoken out about the conditions on the show. In an interview with The Guardian, Season 3 winner Kai Hibbard calls her appearance on the show “the biggest mistake of my life”.
Hibbard describes an environment of “constant fat shaming” from trainers, “ridiculous” exercise regimes that were done for entertainment purposes, and manipulation by producers to create “villains” among the contestants.
While some of these practices are to be expected from reality television, concerns for the health of contestants continue to plague the show as it enters its 17th season.
[Featured Image by Dianne Bondareff/AP Images]