July 24, 2007 12:02 AM by Joe Blackmon
It’s crunch time for Shaq, the kids and the dream team, but they’re all
far from ready to meet with the Governor with their results. The kids
are making good progress, but the wheels of change are slow for Shaq
and his Wellness Wheel pilot program to get more physical education
into every school day, and for Tyler Florence, who has a last chance to
prove that the school cafeteria CAN afford a healthier, kid-friendly
menu that doesn’t resort to fast food, on "Shaq’s Big Challenge,"
TUESDAY, JULY 24 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
In "Shaq’s Big Challenge," six obese youngsters — Walter (285 lbs., 14 years old), Kit (263 lbs., 14 years old), Kevin (230 lbs., 13 years old), James (182 lbs., 11 years old), Ariel, (211 lbs., 14 years old) — are put through the most intense, emotional and rewarding time of their young lives. Shaq is aided by six specialists: Shaq’s own physician and trainer, Dr. Carlon "Doc" Colker, M.D.; personal trainer Tarik Tyler; nutritionist Joy Bauer; Miami Children’s Hospital childhood obesity expert Dr. William MuiÃƒÃ†os, M.D.; Food Network celebrity chef Tyler Florence; and Shaq’s Louisiana State University coach, Dale Brown. Together they go into the kids’ homes and schools, then expand their scope to meet with the local school and government officials to develop and implement a wellness program for the children of the community, and later for the entire state of Florida.
This mission does not end with these six children. The goal is for every child in the local schools to take part in Shaq’s plan. His dream team addresses the challenges of providing tasty, kid-friendly nutritious meals on a budget, as well as incorporating more exercise into the kids’ days. For instance, physical education is no longer mandatory in many public schools across the U.S., so Shaq and his team will develop revolutionary programs to allow every child to get consistent exercise while at school. Once he has accomplished his mission at this school, Shaq and his team will have laid the groundwork to achieve their ultimate goal — to create a fitness plan that could be accepted across the whole of Florida and serve as a template for the entire country. "Shaq’s Big Challenge" will change the way we approach the health of a nation — one child, one community, one state at a time, until we truly are a happier, healthier, fitter America.
Executive producers are Rick Ringbakk, Greg Goldman, Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Coelen, Christopher Handy, Perry Rogers, Michael Parris and Stephen Lambert. The series is produced by RDF USA ("Wife Swap"). It is based on the hit UK series "Unfit Kids."