Biggest Loser season 14 features teenaged participants — Bingo, Sunny, and Lindsay — for the first time ever. Rather than participate as the regular contestants — who live on the ranch and face weekly weigh-ins and the threat of being eliminated from the show — the kids will appear on the program under special circumstances; all will continue to live at home and will focus less so on weight loss per say, and more on changing their diet and lifestyle and acquiring healthier habits, incorporating exercise and physical activity, all under the supervision of coaches and a pediatrician. They will not face the scrutiny of the scale and be subject to weigh-ins nor will they be eliminated.
Meanwhile are are some details on the teenagers, along with video interviews below.
Noah “Bingo” Gray, age 13 and is from Carroll County, Maryland. He tells his story in this interview video, which you can see below. He shares his hopes and aspirations, among which to inspire others with his participation.
You can also see his audition video for the show here and see him at home with his parents, who are also struggling with their weight. He says his motivation to lose weight is to enable him to be better at playing sports; baseball in particular is his passion.
Sanjana “Sunny” Chandrasekar is 16 years old and lives in Rochester, New York. Lindsay Bravo, age 13, is from Fillmore, California. Both are interviewed in the video below. In addition to getting help for themselves, they both share a similar aspiration as fellow participant, Bingo, to help and inspire others.
You can learn more about each teenager via the official Web site — here — which gives biography details and a profile of each, along with photos and more video.
You can also see a preview video below featuring returning trainer Jillian Michaels who speaks with the teens about their experiences being bullied. As you may know, Jillian Michaels makes her highly anticipated return to the show after a two-season hiatus. She speaks candidly — and emotionally — about her own experience being bullied as a child in the years when she was overweight and far different from the highly fit and focused trainer we have seen throughout the years on the show. As such she gives encouragement and support to the teens who are surprised by her life story with which, sadly, they can all too readily relate to.
While the program attempts to bring in the teens in a sensitive matter and, in a way, puts faces and life stories to the “childhood obesity epidemic” we hear so much about, it is not without controversy. The Biggest Loser host, Alison Sweeney appeared recently on the Today Show to discuss this; you can see the video here.
Having faced bullying myself as a teen for being overweight, I think I would find encouragement knowing I wasn’t alone. And the argument can be made that these three — Bingo, Sunny and Lindsay — certainly have more support than most bullied teens who do wind up feeling, as I know I did, quite alone and isolated and, ultimately ashamed.
Let us know what you think. Are you in favor of teens participating in The Biggest Loser under these circumstances?
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