'Biggest Loser' star hit with weight-gain lawsuit

Tara Costa has a sponsor that isn't happy about her figure these days.

By Jonathan Berr Jul 9, 2013 12:30PM
Tara Costa, Biggest Loser contestant (Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)When Tara Costa lost 155 pounds on NBC's "The Biggest Loser: Couples 2," she decided to cash in on her reality show fame and signed an endorsement deal with a fitness company. The one catch -- and it's a big one -- was that Costa had to maintain her svelte figure, which she is now accused in a federal lawsuit of failing to do.

FC Online Marketing, the owner of the website I Love Kickboxing, claims in its suit filed in U.S. District Court in Florida that Costa "had gained far too much weight" to make personal appearances on behalf of the company, according to The Wrap. The suit apparently doesn't provide more specifics regarding the weight gain.  

As part of her agreement, Costa was required to maintain her "current level of fitness and conditioning," the trade publication says. She also got into hot water by entering into an agreement with one of FC Online's competitors.

The reality show star may have chosen to ignore the uncomfortable reality that many people on diets -- by one estimate 80% of them -- gain the weight back in a year.

A 2011 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that dieting leads to long-term changes in the levels of hormones that regulate weight and increase appetite, making it more difficult for someone to keep off the excess pounds. Costa, who is marketing herself as a weight-loss guru, may not have known about that study, but the difficulties dieters face in preventing weight from coming back are hardly a secret.

On her website, she lists her current weight at 139 pounds. She doesn't provide her height, so it's unclear whether she would be considered overweight under accepted medical standards. She certainly looks fit in the gallery of press images on her site, but the latest of those is from 2010.

A spokesman for FC Online, which is based in Levittown, N.Y., couldn't be reached for comment. Costa, who according to her official website is a former plus-size model and a graduate of New York University, didn't respond to an email sent through her site.

Follow Jonathan Berr on Twitter @jdberr.

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Jul 9, 2013 1:43PM
She signed a contract with the company and then breached that contract by gaining the weight. If she is unable to do what she agreed to then the company is entitled to recover the money they spent for her. The problem with the Biggest Loser is that it does not represent real life. When people go home and deal with the stresses of life and no longer have personal trainers and the pressure of competition they tend to gain the weight back
Jul 9, 2013 1:50PM
Returning to the challenges of reality might be considered the last step in the rigorous program that takes the weight off in the first place.  It is without a doubt, a life-long battle, and everyone has to pretty much do it alone...in the real world!
Jul 9, 2013 1:52PM
Oh, boo hoo (or should I say moooo).  She knew what she was getting into when she signed the contract.  Put her on a scale and let the needle decide if she is a double loser!
Jul 10, 2013 2:25AM

Weight loss is a matter of the mouth.  When a farmer wants to fatten a pig they feed them as much as they can and they gain weight.  Same goes for humans who eat lots of large hamburgers and fries along with a 72 oz drink that stretches their stomach and they just want more food.  In the last 30 years people have started to eat twice as much as they need.

Restaurants  and fast food stores serve ever larger portions and people gain weight as many people never eat at home anymore.  Some people who have surgery to reduce their stomach don't stop eating  far more than they are told to eat and never loose any weight.

Stop eating so much.

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