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Jillian Michaels on controversial Lizzo comments: 'Health is health'

McKenzie DeGroot
Segment Producer

Ex-“Biggest Loser” trainer Jillian Michaels is known for her health and wellness expertise, but she recently caught some backlash over her comments about Grammy-winning singer Lizzo.

Last month, Michaels questioned why the public was celebrating the 31-year-old singer’s body, telling Buzzfeed News’ AM2DM it “isn’t going to be awesome if she gets diabetes.”

In an interview on Tuesday, Michaels told Yahoo Finance’s “On the Move” that while she understands that there are “two separate narratives,” she stands by what she said.

“I'm somebody who was overweight and has been doing this for over two decades,” she said. “So it's very important that everybody feels included, worthy, valuable, but health is health.”

DENVER, COLORADO - AUGUST 16: HIIT class with personal trainer Jillian Michaels at the first day of the Wellness Your Way Festival at the Colorado Convention Center on August 16, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Tom Cooper/Getty Images for Wellness Your Way Festival)

She went on to describe obesity as the No. 1 killer of Americans (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites the top three causes of death in the U.S. as heart disease, cancer, and accidents.)

Michaels, whose app features meal plans and customized workouts for about $90 a year, also suggested that obesity has a financial component. “The No. 1 cause of bankruptcy in our country: health related issues,” she said.

A study last year in the American Journal of Public Health found that over 66% of debtors cited medical expenses or medical problems causing work loss as their reason for filing bankruptcy. However, it’s not clear how many of those medical issues were related to weight.

Michaels made a name for herself as a trainer on the reality show “The Biggest Loser” and now has her own fitness app, My Fitness by Jillian Michaels.

“If you are passionate about what you do, the advice you give delivers results. I think that's the recipe for success right there,” Michaels said.

The My Fitness by Jillian Michaels app offers 800 workouts in a variety of categories, from kickboxing to yoga to prenatal workouts.

“What I try to do with anything I put out there in the world is make it affordable, make it accessible and make it customizable to the individual,” she said. “... There really isn't a wrong way when it comes to fitness. Consistency is key,” she adds.

McKenzie DeGroot is a producer at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @degrootmckenzie

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