TV is trying to trim the fat

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1264623524the_biggest_loser_season_8_episode_71Less you think TV is all doctor shows, crime dramas, and reality fluff – there are some television shows that are attempting to make a difference. The new reality direction is aimed at childhood obesity.  As I’ve noted in an earlier post, obesity in America is an epidemic.  One in twenty-five children is obese.  I know this because:  1) I have eyes and I can see, and 2) An episode I produced for the Real Savvy Mom series centered on childhood obesity. While in production, I was shocked to learn that there are a growing percentage of children under of the age of 12 who are exhibiting symptoms previously only seen in overweight adults.  Symptoms as life threatening as heart disease and diabetes – in children under the age of 12!

The Biggest Loser put the bull’s eye on the back of obesity in America.  While millions of people watch the show, I think there are far too many of them lying back on their couches shoveling handfuls of cheese popcorn into their mouths and throwing back a few beers all the while cheering their favorite to lose 100 pounds.  If you look through the window of any fast food restaurant in the nation – it’s not typically the slim and trim set staring back at you.  It’s usually the people whose JamieOliverfoodrevolutionbody mass index is wacked out of proportion.  So it seems appropriate that reality TV would reflect a reality that needs attention and a change.

Jamie Oliver has created a show and a movement with Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.  Produced by Ryan Seacrest Productions, well known British chef, Jamie Oliver tackles schools and their idea of what consists of the basic food groups.  We’ve sunk pretty low, when schools consider french fries a vegetable – I’m just saying.

The Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michaels, has a new series premiering this Tuesday.  She’ll temporarily move in with families and attempt to get them to live healthier lifestyles in Losing it with Jillian.  I believe they’ll either lose weight or lose their minds.

In August, The Style Network tackles the issue with a new docu-series, Too Fat for 15: Fighting Back from Daisybeck Productions. The series will highlight the emotional journey of four obese teens and one pre-teen who attend a weight-loss boarding school in North Carolina.

reality-losingitObesity wasn’t a problem on the frontier.  If you wanted to eat butter you had to churn it (great upper body strengthening), if you wanted steak, you had to ‘hunt’ it before you threw it on the grill.  And bread, was a whole ‘nother matter.  You had to grow and harvest the wheat (back breaking work) before you could even think about turning into dough.   People worked hard, they didn’t eat preservatives and candy was a luxury.  We’ve become complacent, and we’ve become excessive.  Seriously, it’s time for a reality check when it comes to thinking MacDonald’s or Taco Bell can be anything close to a nourishing low calorie meal.  I’m happy to see that producers are creating shows that tackle tough issues and hopefully prompt a change.

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2 Responses to TV is trying to trim the fat

  1. Marisa May 27, 2010 at 8:31 pm #

    Yep – the food revolution has come to television; but its been a long time in the making. I remember being one of those people sitting on the couch with a coke in one hand and a bag of chips in the other – but I was watching Richard Simmons’ infomercials for Deal a Meal. This is not a new problem facing America, I think producers and TV execs have just found a way to make it more personal and to make money on it.

  2. Marisa May 27, 2010 at 8:36 pm #

    Yep, the food revolution has come to America. I remember sitting on the couch with a coke in one hand and a bag of chips in the other – BUT – I was watching infomercials for Richard Simmons’ Deal a Meal. Then of course there was Susan Powter – and I watched late night shows while she begged us to “Stop the Insanity”.

    I think TV execs and producers have finally found a way to make money from this ever growing problem by attaching faces and stories that we all recognize – the people on Biggest Loser could be a relative or a neighbor – they share some of the same problems most of us do.

    By the way – you mean to tell me that french fries are not part of a basic food group?

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