Have you seen this documentary Too Fat for 15? Some friends at lunch today were telling me they watched the first episode and how disturbing it was to see these kids struggle. It follows kids at a weight loss boarding school — so they get educated in proper health habits while they are getting their traditional education. Complete immersion. As this article says: these kids are so brave to let cameras follow them as they struggle to live their lives and learn about balance. It’s a hard battle to grow up in general and then add the extra challenge of being overweight in a weight/looks conscience world…I am going to check it out.
The much-hyped Too Fat for 15: Fighting Back debuts tonight, August 9, 2010, at 8/7 p.m. CT on the Style Network. This comes at a time when new research shows children as young as 7 years old are showing signs of puberty, a result of the staggering increases in childhood obesity.
At first glance, the image chosen to represent the new 8-part docu-series Too Fat For 15 bears a shocking resemblance to ABC Family’s dramedy HUGE. It turns out, the shows are quite similar: Too Fat chronicles five obese teens enrolled at Wellspring Academy, a weight-loss boarding school in North Carolina. (Wellspring helps students continue their education while losing weight.) The star students — the youngest is 11; the heaviest, Tanisha a 17-year-old girl weighs 510 pounds and was in such need of help that she had to be driven to the cafeteria which at the top of a hill. She wound up losing 150 pounds in four months. The two of them shed a combined 500 pounds during filming. ‘
Viewers will watch the emotional ups and downs of these kids as they are pushed through grueling fitness routines, regular weigh-ins, and learn about food, from how to eat to why they eat. The kids’ parents are also involved, with the show helping them explore their own issues with food and the role they’ve played in their children’s pain.
I give these kids all the credit in the world for allowing cameras to document their experiences. Weight Watchers doesn’t even make you weigh in in front of your fellow members to help protect privacy, and yet these teenagers are putting it all out there for the whole world to see. Kids can be incredibly cruel, and being an overweight teenager is probably one of the worst things in the world in terms of getting teased and ostracized. But 14-year-old Scotty, who starts the show at 366 pounds after being told by doctors that he could die if he fails to lose weight, and 17-year-old Tanisha ultimately prove their haters wrong.