Honey We're Killing the Kids

 
Change habits or die early -- for tweens and up.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Messages about healthy living habits and personal responsibility are positive overall. Families are mostly traditional, though one single mother is featured. A variety of ethnicities appear. Some kids are rude and resistant to their parents (because of the extreme changes), but the behavior isn't condoned.

Violence

Some sibling rough-housing.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

Shouts of "I hate you!," but no cursing on camera.

Consumerism

Product labels and logos are mostly blurred.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Mostly none, but one parent smokes in an episode and is encouraged to quit.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this show makes a connection between media overconsumption and bad health. It also uses extreme computer-generated images of what children might look like as adults if they continue their unhealthy habits. These images may be frightening to kids who don't understand that the pictures are exaggerated for dramatic effect. The series talks frankly about diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease and how these could be in children's future -- also a potentially scary idea for younger children.

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What's the story?

In TLC's lifestyle-makeover reality show HONEY WE'RE KILLING THE KIDS, parents learn that they may be putting their children at risk for future health problems because of choices they're making today. In a format similar to Nanny 911, families get new rules intended to improve their lifestyle and their chances for the future. Parents see computer-generated time-lapse photos of their children as they might age, given their current lifestyle and body measurements. The results aren't pretty: Kids turn into overweight, dull-skinned 40-year-olds before their parents' eyes. With three weeks to make some serious changes, parents and kids meet weekly with a fitness/nutrition expert to learn new household rules and receive helpful handbooks. While the weeks can seem like torture to the kids -- one even threatens to run away when his TV is taken out of his room -- in the end, serious progress is made. With less sugar in their diet, kids' behavior improves; less access to TV and video games helps them become more active; and time spent around the dinner table helps unite families.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Honey We're Killing the Kids has all the annoying elements of a reality show: constant replaying of dramatic moments, meetings in an eerie gothic mansion, editing that may not tell the whole story, and a pat ending. But like Nanny 911 and Supernanny, the show aims to help real families who struggle with real problems. And to this end, the show does a good job promoting healthy ideas while staying away from labeling kids as "fat" or "lazy."

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about their own diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits and think about ways to improve them. How can kids (and parents) add more fruit and vegetables to their diets -- and less sugar and bad fats? Can kids think of ways to be more active and have fun at the same time? Why is it so important to limit time spent watching TV and playing video games? A possible activity: Think of everyday items that will help keep portion size in check -- like a deck of cards for a 3-ounce serving of meat, or a light bulb for a 1/2-cup serving of vegetables.

TV details

Cast:Max Beesley
Network:TLC
Genre:Reality TV
Topics:Science and nature
TV rating:TV-G

This review of Honey We're Killing the Kids was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written bysuitelife April 9, 2008
age 0+
 

Pretty good show

I like to see what the kids look like 40 years from now before and after the diet and exercise. Good reality show.
Kid, 9 years old April 9, 2008
Adult Written byvmedlock April 9, 2008

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