Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Interview: Alison Sweeney Discusses New Biggest Loser

January is a big month for Alison Sweeney: NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” — which she hosts — returns for its 14th season, and it also marks Alison’s 20th year playing Sami Brady on “Days of Our Lives.” She was thrilled to discuss these two milestones recently, talking about the newest “Loser” and its focus on childhood obesity, as well as Sami’s 20-year reign (some would say “of terror”) in Salem.

“The Biggest Loser,” which returns to NBC this Sunday, is tackling the growing issue of childhood obesity. Alison is quick to support the show’s decision to do this despite some apprehension and controversy, explaining: “The first thing we did was to take into consideration the age of the contestants, and how we could best help and guide them. (Unlike previous adult contestants,) they don’t live on the ranch. They are not going to be competing. We are there to help them learn how to care for themselves in their everyday lives.”

One way the trainers try to help them change is to include the family. “We encourage the families to also change their nutrition choices, and get them out there and exercising. This is all done in a kid-friendly way. We don’t put the same pressure on them that we’d put on adult contestants.”

As a mother herself, you can bet Alison wouldn’t stand for any kind of unnecessary pressure, criticism or unachievable goals being placed on these kids. “I am a mom myself, and I know that (childhood obesity) is an important issue. On a personal level, I see kids all the time who are struggling with obesity. It’s important to talk about it and figure out what we can do to heal and help these kids.”

Much talk has been circulating about the dynamic of the three trainers: Jillian Michaels, Bob Harper and Dolvett Quince, especially since Jillian and Dolvett haven’t worked together previous to this. In Alison’s words, the dynamic is “amazing. It was super awesome to watch the three of them interact — (that alone is) a great part of the season. It’s been very interesting to see their different styles of training. They each have a great respect for each other, and they complement each other in amazing ways.” Jillian, who is a new mom herself, has said that because there will be three teenagers on each team was the reason she decided to return to the show after leaving to start a family in 2011.

Audiences will see that this new season has something for everyone — and, as usual, will have its share of triumphs and tears. So tune in to NBC this Sunday at 9/8c and Monday at 8/7c for a two-night premiere event of the newest season of "The Biggest Loser." And keep tuned in each Monday after that at 8/7c to witness the transformations yourself.

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