Biggest Loser tackles childhood obesity

When the Biggest Loser returns to primetime in January, the reality show will be joined by overweight teenagers and trainer Jillian Michaels.

Michaels – the say-it-like-it-is, in-your-face trainer – left the show in May 2011. But she’s rejoining the cast so she can be a part of the show’s new direction: tackling childhood obesity.

Michaels appeared on the Today show to announce her return and the addition of teenagers. The teams on new season will include overweight adults and three teenagers. However, unlike the adults, the teens will not be on the ranch or fighting to avoid elimination, Michaels said.

“The producers of the show have been consulting some of the top experts — pediatricians, child psychologists — to help us deal with this in the most delicate and appropriate ways,” she said on the Today show.

“For example, we won’t be saying things to kids like, ‘How much weight did you lose?’ It’s about getting them healthy, using words like ‘healthy.’ We won’t be getting them on a scale; it’s about getting them on a softball team — things like that,” Michaels said. “We’re very cognizant of how touchy it is, how controversial it is.”

“It’s obviously something that needs to be handled with kid gloves, but it’s something that needs to be handled,” she added.

Do you agree with Michaels? Is it a good idea for Biggest Loser to add teen contestants?

Scroll to top