The other night I stumbled upon the most fascinating TV reality show on The Learning Channel, "Honey We’re Killing the Kids!," is "a nutrition makeover series that transforms the lives of 13 families by improving their diets and lifestyle."
Not knowing what to expect, I was riveted as a family of five got help from nutritionist Dr. Lisa Hark to help their three junk-food-eating children, who were on their way to health problems galore. The show certainly demonstrated how it’s vital for parents to set a good example, and it certainly illustrated that obesity can begin in the home — the mom was already obese herself.
The Youngs (Photo from TLC / Discovery)
What was especially sad — and shocking enough to prompt the parents to take action and set a good example — was seeing computer-generated photos of how the kids would look like at age 40 if they stuck to their poor nutrition habits. It was quite mind blowing seeing these children turning into incredibly unhealthy looking adults.
Newsday quotes the stunned mom of the three youngsters, shown above.
"It was scary seeing my kids in the photos," said Kelly Young. "It was like I was looking at three serial killers."
Here’s more info about the series, which began airing April 10:
"…The Learning Channel will transform the lives of 13 families across the nation in the groundbreaking new series, Honey We’re Killing the Kids! In each family, the children’s eating habits have spiraled out of control into a diet of nonstop junk food – sugar, snacks, processed food – and huge, oversized portions. Coupled with a lack of exercise and sleep, this lifestyle means the kids are not only hyper and unruly, they are at serious risk of becoming overweight and developing high-blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
"Honey We’re Killing the Kids! offers a startling look at the causes of America’s childhood obesity epidemic and issues a critical wake-up call for parents. In the series, nutrition expert Dr. Lisa Hark shows how everyday choices can have long-term impacts on children, and offers both the motivation and the know-how to help turn these families’ lives around. Using state-of-the-art computer imaging and certified assessments based on measurements and statistics, Dr. Hark first gives Mom and Dad a frightening look at the possible future faces of their children – and a dramatic reality check. Then, introducing her new guidelines and techniques, Dr. Hark works with parents to reverse course and give their kids a healthy diet and active lifestyle."
"Terrence and Tyler love eating junk and watching TV. Their Mom is desperately worried about their health – especially since hubby Terrence has diabetes. Nutritionist Dr. Lisa Hark enforces big changes- fresh clams in lieu of burgers, Judo, and veggie BBQ!"
And info below is included on another upcoming episode, "Sugar and Spite":
"Meet three precocious kids -TV and sugar fanatics Jesse, Jara, and Zachary. Mom can’t stop them from sneaking candy! Nutritionist, Dr. Lisa Hark dramatically changes their diet and family dynamic — but not without a lot of resistance along the way!"
The Learning Channel is trying to get the audience involved. For instance, its website invites you to share your real-world experiences with aging on its interactive message boards. They want to hear "stories of what has or has not helped you stay fit and healthy."
Also, check out the show’s forum to talk about the show, trade nutrition and fitness tips, and to upload photos and stories of your own aging process.
America isn’t the only country running TV shows to help or challenge people lose weight. See the BBC’s article about the plethora of shows highlighting "Television’s popular fat intake."
Thanks to Stacey, a fellow classmate at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, for tipping me onto this.