LAYTON — A Weber State University student is one of the contestants on the 14th season of NBC's "The Biggest Loser."
Jackson Carter, 21, works as a volunteer coordinator for an LGBT resource center. At 328 pounds, he said he felt like he needed to be a better example to the youths with whom he works.
"A lot of these kids don't have access to a proper gym facility and they don't have access to good food," he told NBC. "What I want to do is work on myself first and get myself healthy, and then take that back to them."
He said he wanted to show the kids that not only is being healthy a good thing, but it can be fun.
"It's something you need to aspire to your entire life," he said.
Carter said his "a-ha moment" came as he was driving to the open call for "The Biggest Loser" after rehearsing for a play he was in. He said he realized the show was a good opportunity to get in shape.
- The annual health care cost of obesity in the U.S. has doubled in less than a decade to $147 billion (in 2009).
- Obesity is now responsible for 9.1% of annual medical costs compared with 6.5% in 1998.
- The medical costs for an obese person are 42% higher than for a person at ideal weight.
"It was so hard to climb stairs or tie my own shoes," he said. "Something as simple as tying my own shoelaces was challenging.
He said the three-hour wait in line was enough time to "start realizing I really need to start taking myself into consideration when I'm doing these activities."
Multiple Utahns have competed on "The Biggest Loser" in recent years. Burgandy Keel, from Eagle Mountain, competed on season 10. Season 11 featured four Utahns, including Olympic gold medalist Rulon Gardner.