'Honey We're Killing the Kids!'

This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," April 17, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.


DR. LISA HARK, HOST, "HONEY WE'RE KILLING THE KIDS!": If your children continue to eat a high-fat, high-sugar, high-calorie diet, there is a high likelihood that they will develop diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other medical problems. You've had a chance to keep them healthy, but in reality, you're killing your kids.


JOHN GIBSON, HOST: Our children are getting bigger and not just taller. They're growing wider. Childhood obesity in the U.S. has tripled over the last three decades.

A new show has taken a hard look at this epidemic. It is called "Honey We're Killing The Kids!" It airs on The Learning Channel Mondays at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. Its host, Dr. Lisa Hark, joins us now.

Killing the kids with what?

DR. LISA HARK, HOST, "HONEY WE'RE KILLING THE KIDS!": Poor diet, lack of exercise, too much junk food, too much sugar big time.

GIBSON: All right, let's start with the food. These parents that you confront, do they get it? Do they understand this? Do they know what's going on? Do they realize it?

HARK: Yes, I think they do and they came to us for help. They've asked for our help. They've asked to be on the show.

GIBSON: Well what part of dinner didn't they understand? They see what they're feeding their kids.

HARK: Well you know what, they've lost control. The children are running the show. They're stuck. They tell me they don't know how to get started and they don't know what to do.

GIBSON: Now you do this trick of showing the kids growing older, using some computer program, right? And what does that show?

HARK: It shows how the children will look at 40 if they continue with this poor diet and sedentary lifestyle.

GIBSON: And basically you show a bunch of fat 40 year olds?

HARK: We do. And again, this is a realistic image based on their poor diet. Many of the children are already overweight and these people look like my patients. They look like middle America.

GIBSON: Well, what is it — I mean, the kid's yelling at the mother. He wants his sugar; he wants his McDonald's; he wants his whatever. And they can no longer pry them away. So how do you do that? How do you convince these parents to tell these kids, "All right, you're not eating that stuff anymore?"

HARK: Well, we bring the parents to a studio and we show them these images and then we ask them, "Are you ready?" And we go to their home for three weeks, over a period of three weeks, and I basically lay down the law. Here are the rules for week one, here are the rules for week two, and the parents say to the children, "These are Dr. Lisa's rules. These are the rules we're going to follow and these are the rules that we're going to stick to."

GIBSON: Do they?

HARK: Yes, they do, for the most part. Of course they put up a fight the first couple days but it takes them a couple days to get used to it and then I come back the second week.

GIBSON: So have you seen any improvement in these kids?

HARK: Huge improvement.

GIBSON: You mean small improvement — they're smaller.

HARK: Right, huge changes. Much greater changes than I've ever seen in my 20-year career and that's why I'm totally comfortable with this tough love approach.

GIBSON: What about exercise? Are you getting these kids moving around any?

HARK: We do, we absolutely do. Most of the families that we're seeing, they are watching eight to 10 hours of television on a weekend.

GIBSON: They only have this show to watch. I also notice, Dr. Lisa, it looks like the parents need some work, too.

HARK: Yes, they do. And I believe you can't treat this obesity problem in a vacuum. It's a family problem. So the parents have lost weight. We're seeing, you know, parents losing 10, 15 pounds in two-week periods.

GIBSON: Dr. Lisa Hark, the show is called "Honey We're Killing the Kids!" and it's about all the junk and the little exercise that kids are getting these days.

Dr. Hark, thank you very much, appreciate you coming on.

HARK: Airs Mondays at 9:00 p.m.

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