Parents' Guide to

Shaq's Big Challenge

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

NBA star takes focus away from kids' weight loss.

TV ABC Reality TV 2007
Shaq's Big Challenge Poster Image

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While well intentioned, there's too much focus on drama and emotion, the kids' failures are subjected to hurtful comments, and viewers are left wondering what goes on when the cameras go off. But the biggest problem (literally) is the tall man at the center of it all. The series often seems to be more of a resume-builder for Shaq than anything else. He gets plenty of camera time to toot his own horn about how, despite his being "one of the world's greatest athletes," he relates to these kids and can understand their pain.

The show also makes some bold claims about the country's apparent indifference to the problem of childhood obesity, while positioning Shaq as some type of super-hero come to save the day. Really, does celebrity status have to override the efforts of the common folk regarding this issue, too? You might want to check out the show if this is an issue your family is facing and you need some inspiration. But avoid using it as a motivational tool, since pointing fingers at the overweight subjects and reminding your kids that they don't want to wind up like that could instigate a whole new host of problems.

TV Details

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