The Biggest Loser Season 14 Interview: Allison Sweeney On Jillian Michaels’ Return, Tackling Childhood Obesity

The Biggest Loser - Season 14

Most of America’s willpower to lose weight during this time of year is strong, and The Biggest Loser is coming back to NBC at just the right time to help motivate and inspire. This time, The Biggest Loser is tackling child obesity as well as adult obesity, and host Allison Sweeney was on hand to participate in a conference call about the show. Read below to see what you can expect from this season.

Taking on child obesity

Sweeney opened up about her stern stance on finding a solution to the growing childhood obesity epidemic.

“Well, I’m a mom, so…obviously…it’s such an important issue for our country and for the world,” she said. “…[O]n a personal level, I see kids all the time who are struggling with obesity and I just think it’s so important to start talking about it [and] really figure out what we can do as a community and society to…heal our kids.”

Precautions for children

Sweeney talked about some of the methods the show used to make sure the children on the show received as much guided help as possible.

“It’s certainly an interesting thing to criticize something they haven’t even seen,” said Sweeney regarding some of the critics who have sounded off about the show’s casting of children. “The first thing we did was take into consideration their age and how we can best help them and guide them. So, they aren’t ever on the scale…They don’t work out in The Biggest Loser gym and they don’t live on the ranch…They have their own journeys and…we’re really trying to help them learn how to care for themselves in their environment–at home, with their families–which is a huge task. It’s not just as if these kids, these teenagers, are ..;on an island. It’s their community and their family who needs to make these changes, too.”

Getting the family involved

Sweeney went on to say that for the child portion of the show, the aim is to get the whole family involved in pursuing better health.

“…[W]e are really hoping to not only encourage them to change their nutrition, but their whole family and get the whole family outside and exercising,” she said. “…I think the trainers have done an amazing job expecting these kids to change their fitness level, but in a kid friendly way. So, hopefully, kids will watch the show and really be inspired for the things that they can do that are really relatable to their age range; to challenge them and get them healthier without putting the same pressure on them that you can expect from an adult.”

The dynamic between the three trainers

Now that Jillian Michaels is back with the Biggest Loser team, you might be wondering how all three trainers–Michaels, Bob Harper and Dolvett Quince–have gotten along this season.

“It’s been amazing. It’s actually super awesome to watch the three of them interact, to watch it unfold,” said Sweeney. “I think it’s going to be a great part of this season, because I think [I was wondering], like all the audience were sort of wondering, that same question–how were were Jillian and Dolvett going to interact…It’s been so interesting and cool to see all the different styles of [training] and to see how they see the contestants differently, but in [most cases], just to see the respect they have for each other and…they really compliment each other in an amazing way.”

Sweeney take on the success of The Biggest Loser

Sweeney said her love for the show started even before she was asked to host. She said she felt the show was a hit because of the simple, inspiring message it gave to viewers.

“I was a fan of the show before they approached me to be a part of it, so I loved the idea of getting to host The Biggest Loser. I love what they do, I love the stand we are taking on obesity,” she said. “I really thought the show had legs right from the beginning because it really touches your heart in a way, beyond even the issue of weight loss. It touches your heart with the belief that anything is possible if you set your mind to it and that no matter what your adversity is, no matter what your obstacle is in your life, if you really do the work, it pays off and you can change…There’s something so redeeming about that and inspiring about it that I just knew America would really continue to want to see those stories again and again.”

Season 14 of The Biggest Loser starts January 6 at 9/8c on NBC.

About The Author

Monique Jones is a freelance entertainment writer who also runs Moniqueblog.net, a site analyzing how race and culture are perceived in American entertainment. She has been published on ShockYa, Racialicious, Topless Robot and more.