Should "The Biggest Loser" put struggling kids on national TV?

Mar 12, 2013

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Should overweight children be allowed to compete in “The Biggest Loser”? Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Doctors are raising concerns about featuring children on “The Biggest Loser” reality show. It’s the first time the popular weight-loss competition has included overweight teenagers. The producers say it will raise awareness of the epidemic of childhood obesity.

Lindsay Bravo, a 13-year old from Fillmore, California, is one of the “Biggest Loser” kids. She said she wants to drop pounds so she can have more friends and stop being bullied. The teens are not being treated the same as adult competitors. They get access to personal trainers, nutritionists and doctors, but will not be subject to elimination as adults are. Still, one doctor was worried by a recent episode showing the 16-year old contestant, Sunny Chandrasekar, celebrating her birthday by eating a mandarin orange instead of any sweets.

Is teaching deprivation the best way to achieve long-term health for overweight kids? Should potentially vulnerable teens go through this process on national television? Will it help parents and kids who are dealing with the same issues?

Dave Broome , Executive Producer & Co-creator, “The Biggest Loser” reality show about weigh-loss

Dr. Yoni Freedhoff , Medical Director, Bariatric Medical Institute in Ottawa; Board-Certified Physician by the American Board of Bariatric Medicine; Blogs at

 Should "The Biggest Loser" put struggling kids on national TV?  photo

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