TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Heavy TV Poster Image
Emotional reality docuseries about fighting morbid obesity.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series offers clear messages about the danger of being extremely overweight, and shows how the weight can be lost with hard work and the help of professionals.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Overweight clients make the decision to change their habits in order to become more healthy. Trainers and other weight-loss professionals are there to support their clients.


Trainers occasionally yell; overweight cast members occasionally yell back and/or cry.


Men (both clients and trainers) are sometimes seen without their shirts. Dating and marriage are sometimes discussed.


Words like “f--k” and “s--t” are fully bleeped.


Labels for foods like Hidden Farms Ranch Dressing, Haagen Daas Ice Cream, Dannon Yogurt, and grocery items like Brawny paper towels are visible. Some of these items are specifically discussed in terms of their fat content and health value.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Addictions to food are briefly discussed.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this reality docuseries follows morbidly obese people who have made the choice to participate in an intensive weight-loss program. It contains some salty language (“f--k,” “s--t,” all bleeped) as well as some references to topics like marital problems. High-fat and low-fat food brands are sometimes specifically discussed.

User Reviews

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Teen, 13 years old Written bySoraya77 September 24, 2018

What's the story?

HEAVY follows people suffering from morbid obesity as they attempt to regain control of their lives and lose weight. Each episode follows two individuals who are paired up and follow a six-month weight loss program. The first month is spent in a controlled weight-loss facility, where they must workout with professional trainers, learn healthy eating habits, and undergo therapy to uncover the issues that have led to their extreme weight gain. They must then go home and continue their weight-loss regimen, putting into practice everything they have learned. If they begin to gain weight at home, they must go back to the facility and take part in a more challenging program. At the end of each episode, viewers get to see the results of their hard work.

Is it any good?

The series highlights the health problems obesity will inevitably lead to, including joint pain, skin disorders, heart problems, stroke, and death. It shows how professionals can help people begin and continue the weight-loss process. It also discusses many of the obstacles that arise when trying to lose large amounts of weight over time, including boredom and lack of family support.

Like most shows of this kind, Heavy offers some inspirational stories as well as lots of voyeuristic scenes filled with people crying from physical and emotional pain. Some of the discussions about personal family problems are a little awkward too. But this aside, it offers a chance to see people empower themselves to make positive changes in their lives.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about obesity. What issues can lead to obesity? What kinds of things can be done to avoid becoming obese? What things can be done to help people who are obese? How does the media play a role in people’s weight struggles?

  • The cast members of this show and many other weight loss shows are provided the resources to help them lose weight in a healthy way. Are these shows realistic? Do they help to inspire people to lose weight, or make them feel bad about the fact that they may not have access to the same kinds of resources?

  • Why do people agree to be featured on this show? Why do you watch the show? Is there something voyeuristic about witnessing these people's struggles? How does it make you feel afterwards?

TV details

  • Premiere date: January 17, 2011
  • Network: A&E
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-PG
  • Last updated: September 20, 2019

Our editors recommend

For kids who love healthy eating

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