Is featuring children in a weight loss reality show a sign of the times -- or going too far? In Season 14 of "The Biggest Loser," which airs Sunday night, teens aged 13-17 will compete alongside adults for the first time since the prime-time program debuted. However, they will not be subject to elimination or weekly weigh-ins.
Host Alison Sweeney hopes that the featured teens will inspire a national conversation about the childhood obesity epidemic. We want to have the (childhood obesity) conversation," Sweeney explained on TODAY. "We think it needs to be a national conversation about helping our kids get healthy. The statistics are pretty staggering, and they're getting worse."
Rates of childhood obesity or excess weight have exploded over the past few decades, tripling in about the past 30 years and threatening the health and quality of life for one-third of all American children. These kids are at risk for previously adults-only conditions like type 2 diabetes (formerly known as adult-onset diabetes), high blood pressure and joint pain. For the first time in history, U.S. children may face a shorter life expectancy than their parents.
Do you think it's ok to shine a spotlight on kids trying to lose weight, or is it going too far? Leave a comment.