TODAY's Takeaway

TODAY's Takeaway: Son surprises parents with weight loss, Matt tries Velveeta

Jan. 8, 2014 at 3:25 PM ET

Tamron announces her Shine a Light cause, Lucas Irwin drops 130 pounds and Matt tries Velveeta for the first time.
Tamron announces her Shine a Light cause, Lucas Irwin drops 130 pounds and Matt tries Velveeta for the first time.

1. Lucas Irwin managed to lose 130 pounds in a year, and his parents' reaction made the diet and exercise worth it.

“All of a sudden, down the stairs he came,” his father, Jeff Irwin, told TODAY. “And he looked just fantastic. I was more stunned than anything else. But inside, I was just beaming. I was just ... I was over the moon.”

Check out the moment when his parents first saw their slimmed-down son — it’s wonderful:

Video: NBC’s Craig Melvin presents a heartwarming story about a 300-pound man who, determined to surprise his parents the next time he saw them, dieted and exercised vigorously, and lost 130 pounds.

2. Tamron and Carson announced their Shine a Light causes — fighting childhood hunger and raising awareness about victims of domestic abuse — and explained why each effort means so much to them.

3. “Cheese” lovers are in a lactose-induced frenzy over reports that there might be a Velveeta shortage. We saw it as an opportunity for Matt to try it — for the first time ever!

Video: TODAY’s Matt Lauer had his first taste of the ever-popular Velveeta cheese by taking a huge bite out of a block of the stuff. His response? “That’s good cheese.”

4. Do you own the perfect pair of jeans? If not, here are recommendations — for under $50.

Video: Style expert Rebekah George presents some awesome jeans unique to your body type but at a universally low price.

5. The public gets to meet Bao Bao, the National Zoo’s adorable panda cub, in 10 days. But, lucky for us, we got a chance to hang out with her early. Cue the cute.

Video: Bao Bao, one of the newest baby animals at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is settling into her surroundings. The public gets to meet her in 10 days. NBC’s Tom Costello got a preview.

Tomorrow on TODAY: Former Ariz. congresswoman Gabby Giffords sky-dives with Savannah to commemorate the three-year anniversary of the Tucson shooting, and Olympians Billie Jean King and Bode Miller sit down for exclusive interviews.

And that’s TODAY’s Takeaway!