Ben Higgins Lost 30 Lbs. While Filming The Bachelor Due to a ‘Massive’ Parasite
While trying to date dozens of women at once on The Bachelor, Ben Higgins was hiding a major health problem — a parasite.
Higgins, 31, who starred on season 20 of the hit franchise, revealed that he was extremely sick while filming the show, and lost 30 lbs. over the course of the season.
"The craziest thing that ever happened to me on this franchise, that I can speak to openly now, is I had a massive parasite the whole time I was on the show," he said on the Fubo Sports TV show Drinks With Binks. "I was in Honduras — which is a country I love — for a wedding. I get a parasite in my gut. It hits me the week that filming starts."
"I have an incredible stomach flu for the three months of the season, I lose 30 lbs. from start to finish."
Higgins said that he kept his health issues during the show under wraps for years to avoid making the show look bad, but told host Julie Stewart-Binks that he doesn't care anymore.
"It was blamed on being stressed and anxious. You can't really share this after the show because that isn't a great look for The Bachelor, it's not a great look for the contestants," he said. "It's not a great look for the show, that I was sick the whole time."
And the Indiana native said that it made it hard for him to film the romantic dates.
"You have to imagine what it's like to be sitting on a date with somebody else, and all of a sudden you go, 'uh oh.' You tap out. You run. You run," he said.
Higgins said that his health issues were the craziest thing from filming the show that he kept "covered up."
Five seasons later, the show is now in turmoil after longtime Bachelor host Chris Harrison defended a current contestant's past racist actions, and the ensuing backlash led him to step away from the franchise. Higgins also talked to Stewart-Binks about the controversy, and said that he believes the show should address Harrison's comments immediately, because he'll still be hosting the last few, pre-taped episodes of Matt James' season.
"I have a feeling the show needs to address it now and say — I don't know if it sort of ruins the essence of the show to say, 'Hey, this was pre-taped, and this show's already done. This isn't happening in real time.' I don't know if people understand that or not. But it's going to have to be talked about and I think it's going to be — it's going to get sparked back again every week when he's still the host. That conversation of, what's gonna happen now?" Higgins said.
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This story originally appeared on people.com