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What Have These Brave Kids Got to Lose?

I am a huge fan of The Biggest Loser TV show.  To me, it’s not just about a group of people losing a large amount of weight and competing for a prize.  It’s about so much more than that.

I am overjoyed that the group behind this show has finally decided to take on the matter of child obesity.  It’s a sensitive subject and, so far, they have handled it beautifully.

Our children watch our every move.  We are responsible for the food we bring into the home, how many times we allow our children to eat fast food or visit the candy store, and whether our children are developing healthy eating habits.

When our kids are born, we want the best in terms of nutrition, diapers, sleeping arrangements.  We hold them, soothe them, and comfort them.  Nothing is too good for them.  As they get a bit older, we teach them their ABC’s, how to color, and words like “please” and “thank you”.  But then, there is some disconnect.

On last night’s episode, the 13 year old boy admitted that on the weekends, he spends 9 hours per day playing video games.  9 hours per DAY.  In addition, one of the teams was forced to hang out in a “sweets room”, which contained every type of horrible food choice you can imagine, for 4 hours per day. 

During that 4 hour captivity, they could not engage in any type of exercise at all.  Basically, they just sat around and some even napped.  One of the contestants commented that after spending 4 hours in that room, he really didn’t feel motivated to do anything.

For the first time in history, we are facing a crisis that could result in a generation of adults that does NOT outlive their parents.  In other words, children following in these very dangerous footsteps could become obese and develop life threatening illnesses (some may even die) at younger ages than their parents.

Gym teachers are awesome and recess is a wonderful idea.  But it’s not enough.  We, as parents, have to turn this around.  Get up off the couch.  Put down the laptop (or remote, or smart phone, or game controller).  Go outside with your kids and get moving.  They are depending on us and there is no time to waste.

I, for one, cannot wait to see the transformations of these very brave teenagers on the show.  They are likely to be a huge inspiration for so many.  But we don’t have to wait until the season is over.  What do these brave kids have to lose?  Some bad habits and some weight.  But what they have to gain (self-esteem, confidence, health benefits) is immeasurable!  Tune in on Monday nights!

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