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Catherine Holecko

Teens give losing a try

By January 9, 2013

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The latest season of "The Biggest Loser" kicked off on NBC this week. As I mentioned last month, this season's twist is that three teens are participating. They will have a kinder, gentler experience than other contestants--no trainers screaming in their faces, no on-camera weigh-ins, and no chance of being eliminated from the show. In their audition videos and introduction on the show, the three teens are personable and well-spoken. They all say they want to lose weight to gain health and confidence, and to be able to play their favorite sports.

In response to the new childhood obesity focus on the show, the American Council on Exercise has a few suggestions for parents. Whether or not your child is overweight, your family can probably benefit from ACE's advice:

  • Avoid the "clean plate club" - When parents require their children to eat everything on the plate, kids then lose the ability to use their own feelings of hunger and fullness to decide how much to eat.
  • Offer vegetables (and other healthy foods) often - It takes kids up to 15-20 tries to like a previously rejected food.
  • Stop making dessert a reward - Often times, parents try to get their children to eat vegetables by promising them dessert as a reward. This creates an negative association with food in which, unhealthy food, like dessert, makes children feel good.
  • Learn fact from fiction on "The Biggest Loser"- Take the opportunity to apply the various facts contestants are learning about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and apply them to your family.  The activities and food habits that are taught on the show can easily apply to your household.
  • Get off the couch and get moving! - Parents need to help their children remember how much fun it is to be active! Take some of the exercises that were seen on "The Biggest Loser" and apply them at home or create some fun indoor and outdoor activities around the house.

If you watched this week's "Biggest Loser," what did you think?

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