Jillian Michaels makes her return to The Biggest Loser on Sunday to take on childhood obesity after being away from the NBC series for the past two seasons.
When The Biggest Loser returns for Season 14 on Sunday night, no-nonsense trainer Jillian Michaels will join fellow gym colleagues Bob Harper and Dolvett Quince in a new “Challenge America” edition that features three overweight kids.
“The show hasn’t changed,” Jillian told The Deadbolt this week ahead of Season 14. “But the role of the kids on it, they are not contestants. We’re calling them participants. So each team or each trainer has one child that they’re assigned to. The kid is a member of the team but they don’t weigh in. They don’t get eliminated. We work with them at home and they make routine visits to The Biggest Loser ranch.”
With America currently battling the childhood obesity epidemic, The Biggest Loser will lead the charge by featuring children to serve as ambassadors of change who can inspire kids all over the country to get healthy. The focus for the kids will be on getting healthy rather than numbers on a scale.
So, how does Jillian feel about the rising epidemic of childhood obesity in America?
“This is an issue that needs to be fought on a myriad of fronts,” added Michaels. “We can look at everything from our local government, our state government, our federal government, funding of Physical Education, cheap food, big business and we can blame all of those things. But unfortunately it’s also more complex. It has to do with family dynamic as well and parents’ lack of information. It could be things like parents that love their kids with food, parents that are overweight themselves and associate food with love. That’s a reward. It’s very complicated unfortunately.”
Working closely with the children this season will be Dr. Joanna Dolgoff, a childhood obesity expert and pediatrician whose book “Red Light, Green Light, Eat Right” features the child-friendly healthy eating plan the kids will follow. Along with the trainers and The Biggest Loser medical staff, the kids will follow an age-appropriate program that will help them get healthy, achieve their personal goals and transform their lives during the course of the season.
“We are attempting to combat it personally within the family dynamic by providing awareness towards education,” Michaels continued about the fight against childhood obesity. “Dealing with this on a federal level or a state level is extremely complex. I’ve been trying to do that my entire career and have made very little movement. So while I think that it’s easier to buy the cheap fast food, if we can motivate and educate families then it doesn’t matter if they’re not being supported by the government or by big business.”
How do you feel about the childhood obesity epidemic in America?
The Biggest Loser returns January 6 at 9/8c on NBC.