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The Biggest Loser Show tackling childhood obesity this season

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 by Maggie LaBarbera

I was excited to see the reality show, The Biggest Loser, because it is tackling childhood obesitychildhood obesity this season.  Although there has been a great deal of attention paid to childhood obesity, having a nationally popular show highlight this problem is really going to help build more awareness and support about the habits of our children and, in general, families.

The show is featuring three children, Sonny, Noah and Lindsey, called ambassadors of change.  They are called ambassadors of change because by sharing their experience and story, they are representing children across America.  Each of the children have their own reasons for wanting to lose weight and their story of how being overweight has affected their life in school and at home.  It is really heart-warming and touching but the show does a good job of focusing not on weight but habits, nutrition and lifestyle choices.

The children will not follow the normal "grueling, hardcore" weight loss coaching that the show is known for.  Instead, the three children will:

  • not be eliminated from the show.  Kids will have the show's full support to change their habits all the way to the season finale
  • not have grueling workouts every day.  Instead, kids will be participating in fun activities that promote burning calories.  The goal is to get kids moving with activities that they enjoy doing.
  • not be weighed.  Instead, children have an endurance fitness test that they took and they will be able to see how their bodies become more fit by the end of the show.  For example, how many sit-ups can they do in one minute; how long does it take them to run a mile.

I love the philosophy of each of the coaches and their thoughts about childhood obesity:

Jillain Michaels: "It is about helping the parents understand that they need to do it with the kids.  They need to learn how to eat with the kids, they need to learn how to exercise with the kids."

Bob Harper: "It's about getting them to run around and chase a ball and be a kid again."  He also emphasizes the need to limit time on computers, ipads, phones and tv.  

Dolvett Quince:  "It's about educating parents. It's about insisting that the more education parents have, the more successful children are going to be."

But don't worry, the show continues to feature 15 adults that are on teams and will face the scale and challenging workouts and tough love coaching that has made this show so popular.

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