Just what we need… a show about fat kids

I don’t think it’s a big secret that we’re fighting an obesity epidemic here in the United States. We’re eating more, we’re moving less, and it’s not healthy. As parents to kids in the digital age, most of us are fighting a constant battle with our children to get them off the couch, away from the computer, separated from their hand-held games.

(I have been known to toss my children outside to play and then sit right back down at my computer. Ah, irony.)

All of this is a preface to tell you why I can’t stop giggling over this story:

Shaquille O’Neal will be taking a shot at a TV reality show focused on childhood obesity and health. The ABC summer series will feature the Miami Heat star and his effort to help Florida schoolchildren lose weight, ABC said Monday. Airdates for the six-episode series, yet to be titled, haven’t been set.

The series, being filmed in Broward County, Fla., will track the lives of the children involved. O’Neal will be on hand as booster and, in episodes yet to be shot, will lobby politicians on causes including school nutrition, Daily Variety reported Monday.

The show is an adaptation of the British series “Ian Wright’s Unfit Kids,” which featured the former soccer star.

O’Neal, a father of six, has been outspoken about the issue of children and weight problems.

Now, don’t misunderstand me; I happen to like Shaquille O’Neal, and I think childhood obesity is a serious problem. I’ll happily applaud any efforts a celebrity uses to shed light on or combat an epidemic like this.

But… is it just me? A television show about how our (television-loving) children are too fat? I may have to give up my irony badge.

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