Rachael Ray Show Sued by Fat Teen Featured in Weight Loss Segment

    April 17, 2013
    Sean Patterson
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Sending fat teens to boot camp, or sending troubled teens to “scared straight” prison sessions has been a staple of daytime television for decades. Now, it seems that one of these teens was not happy about her daytime TV experience, and is suing the Rachael Ray show.

E! News is reporting that Christina Pagliarolo is suing the show for negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress during her appearance on the show. Pagliarolo, who weighed over 270 pounds at the time, appeared on the show in a series of segments in which she attempted to lose 70 pounds before going to her high school prom. She was put on a diet and a personal trainer was brought in to help her exercise.

According to the report, Pagliarolo is claiming that a trainer, who was not the one depicted on the show, verbally abused her and pushed her too hard. She also claims that the trainer increased the speed of a Stairmaster until she fell off.

As seen in the Rachael Ray show clips below, Pagliarolo’s weight loss began when a trainer woke her before dawn and made her run, toss a medicine ball, and do jumping jacks. The trainer, Jennifer Giamo, is depicted checking to make sure Pagliarolo’s heart rate doesn’t rise too high and providing water breaks. Giamo is not the trainer named in the lawsuit.

Though Pagliarolo’s training began to make a difference, she soon began canceling her training sessions:

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  • Joan Schmidt

    This is a girl we all properly would have agreed to help, but the way it was handled seemed to be too focused on her from the start. It was handled just as many would handle an at-risk teen on the path into crime. Many would remove the teen from the family and put the individual into some kind of residential facility shielded from the society and family.

    She wasn’t in a residential program, but they made all the errors a residential program would made. They started her training without involving the parents who serve the food for her. They didn’t start her training by making the entire family sitting down talking about what is expected of her and of them. Who is then going to support her when the camera crew is off?

    There is no trouble a teenager can be involved in which doesn’t involve the family in one or another way.

    If I had been approached, I would have started her program with a meeting explaining what I expect from the parents and from the siblings. I would have chosen other kinds of exercise until she had lost some weight. Then she would not have broken her foot. I would have demanded that the entire family had exercise sessions because exercise is for many people very depending of some social interaction, so why not make the entire family sweat? I wouldn’t hurt them.

    I feel sorry for the girl because she was failed. First and foremost of her family, but the help she got – regardless of how well it was meant – was not coordinated.