Season 14 of "The Biggest Loser" premiers in just over a week (Jan 6th)!
>>loud applause and cheering<<
Season 14 of "The Biggest Loser" will include teen participants!
Because adults shouldn't be the only ones running on a treadmill until they puke...!
Will having teenagers on the show help combat childhood obesity?
As of 2008, 1 out of 3 children and adolescents were obese. Although some claim this number has leveled off, there is undoubtedly still a problem.
Jillian Michaels, one of the trainers on the show, says:
“When people watch the show, they’re going to see that we care about the kids, we’re supporting the kids. The kids are inspirations themselves, and (viewers) will subsequently learn to appreciate and respect what we’re trying to do.”
Is being yelled at and ridiculed in front of millions of viewers the best way to do this?
As if being a teenager isn't hard enough already...
Producers of "The Biggest Loser" claim that their focus is on the kids. The teenagers will just be "mentored;" no weigh-ins or competing for the cash prize.
A recent blog post by Golda Poretsky listed three reasons why "The Biggest Loser" should be taken off the air:
1) The Biggest Loser Is Physically And Emotionally Dangerous For the Contestants.
2) The Biggest Loser Reinforces The Idea That Thinness, At Any Cost, Is Healthy.
3) The Biggest Loser Bolsters Fat Hatred And Stigma
I recommend reading her post here. She makes a compelling argument against including kids on the show.
I'll be tuning in to watch the premiere of "The Biggest Loser" on January 6th, for the sole reason of seeing how the kids on the show are treated. If yelling, exercising until they puke, and embarrassing them takes place (even once), I will gladly turn the channel to ESPN.
If including teenagers on a reality TV show about losing fat contributes to the fight against childhood obesity, I'm all in favor. Until I see this in action, I'm skeptical.
I'm interested to hear others' opinions on this topic...