‘Huge’ is a Big Hit with Viewers

Huge, a new drama on ABC Family, drew 2.5 million viewers for its debut this week, indicating the fat-friendly series may have a bright future.

Photo: ABC FamilyA new show on ABC Family aims to foster acceptance of those who are overweight and obese through characters who are comfortable with their body image.

Huge is based around a group of teenagers who are sent to fat camp and has many suggesting that a “fat acceptance” movement may be headed toward Hollywood, where actors and actresses are under constant pressure to be thin.

The show stars Hairspray actress Nikki Blonsky as a sarcastic teen who is happy with her size and angry with her parents for sending her to fat camp.

Viewership for the series premier indicates the show may be the network’s next big hit. Huge drew 2.5 million viewers with its first episode, making it ABC Family’s biggest ever series debut among 18-49 year old women.

Some groups aimed at fighting discrimination among overweight people lamented the fact that the main theme of the show is about weight loss, but according to them, there were a few signs of hope.

“So far, we don’t see people being pushed and abused like we do on reality shows, which is nice,” Peggy Howell, public relations director for the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, told Reuters Health.

She added, “And it was nice to see so many fat people have an (acting) job!”

However, skeptics question whether Huge will inspire overweight kids and teens to adopt a healthier lifestyle, or instead gloss over the associated health risks and make obesity seem normal.

Nearly 32 percent of kids in America are overweight, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and more than 16 percent are obese. The excess weight can not only have deleterious psychological effects, but also lead to health issues, like diabetes, heart problems and high blood pressure, experts say.

Mary Jo Rapini, a psychotherapist with the Methodist Weight Management Center, in Houston, Texas, told Health.com, “It is so bad that we believe this is the first generation that will not outlive their parents.”

Kim Rozenfeld, one of the executive producers for Huge, said in an interview with Reuters Health that the show will not gloss over the health risks posed by obesity, but they also will not be over-dramatized.

Huge airs on ABC Family on Mondays at 9pm ET/8pm CT.

One Response

  1. Fi

    It annoys me that so many people focus on the health risks associated with obesity, and not the other facts. Overweight women earn less than their skinny counterparts. Fat discrimination is more prevalent in this country than racism. And yet, we have every media source mitigating their fat-hate by point at the health risks of being obese. It annoys me.


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