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On the A&E show 'Heavy,' pounds -- and tears -- will be shed

January 06, 2011|By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times
  • Sallie H., right, works out with trainer Adam Martin on the A&E show "Heavy."
Sallie H., right, works out with trainer Adam Martin on the A&E show… (David Holloway / AETN/ )

Tired of reality shows about obese people trying to lose weight? No? Good, because there's another one on the way.

Cable channel A&E debuts "Heavy" on Jan. 17. The show follows 22 morbidly obese men and women who desperately want to shed pounds. They're on a six-month program of serious diet and exercise, interspersed with lots of tears. The hook? These weight-challenged folks aren't competing with their peers, and there's no monetary prize attached.

The series kicks off with Tom and Jodi (two people are featured per episode). Tom is a former high school football star whose depression factored into a steady weight gain that got him to 638 pounds. Jodi started out at 367 pounds at 5 feet 6 and recently suffered a stroke. She also finds it difficult to keep up with her husband and two kids.

Also featured on the show is Rickywayne, whose top weight of 555 prevented him from getting into a car comfortably. Lindy's starting weight was 284 pounds, and the former cheerleader now has sleep apnea and can't get pregnant. Chad weighed in at a high of 509 pounds and admits that food was a way to cope with the abuse he suffered as a child.  

According to the press materials these people do lose weight (we won't spoil the exact amounts), with a combination of training, diet and behavior modification. However, don't expect them to be skinny minnies by the end of the show (this isn't "Biggest Loser" territory). But you can bet there will be tears.

Note: We were somewhat amused that when we clicked on the video preview of the show we were treated to a short commercial for Wheat Thins, in which a forklift delivers a pallet of more than 100 boxes of the crackers to an unsuspecting Wheat Thins fan. Of course, she was thin.

What do you think of the show? Will you watch? Has the weight loss reality show genre been mined to death, or can you not get enough of these shows? Let us know.

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