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Helps highlight the dangers of extreme diets at both ends of the spectrum
Supersize Vs Superskinny
Member Name: dippycat
Supersize Vs Superskinny
Advantages: opens communication channels with children as to healthy diets
I have watched most of the episodes of this programme over the last three series and my daughter became interested in it as well over the summer holidays.
I have a great worry about the future of our children as a large number of people are morbidly obese and there is also a growing trend to be painfully skinny. Neither of these extremes are the way to go and I think people need to be shown how wrong and dangerous they are.
The premise of the programme is a simple one - take one very overweight person and one very underweight person, put them in the same house to live together for a week and make them swap diets. The purpose of the diet swap is to make them realise how much or little they are eating - sometimes it is only when we look at things from the outside that we can truly see things as they are. The people are monitored by a medical team for the week (I don't believe for one minute that the presenter doctor is there the whole time!). When the week is up the people are given a healthy diet to follow for the next three months. At the end of the programme we meet up with them again and see how much they have lost/gained.
Anna Richardson is involved in the programme to represent what I imagine to be a large percentage of the female population - someone who isn't drastically overweight, but wants to lose a few pounds and tone up a bit. She tries out the good and the bad in terms of fixes for her 'problem areas' and reports back on them.
One of the hard hitting elements of the programme is the meeting of severely obese and anorexic people. The supersized person in the programme is shown a film about how they might end up if they do not learn to curb their eating now. These are generally very shocking films about people who you might otherwise see on one of the American chat show type programmes. Following the anorexic people is less obvious as to the purpose, but it does show how difficult it can be to change this mindset once it is formed.
I was quite pleased that my daughter wanted to watch the programme and it has really helped with her understanding of what constitutes as a healthy diet. She will now not ask for lots of sweet things in a day and understands that 5 a day is not just a phrase.
I think this programme does a very good job of exposing both ends of the eating disorder spectrum. Obesity, in my experience, is well reported in the news as a 'bad thing' and the health dangers of being overweight are known by everyone. Children know they mustn't get 'fat'. However, the other end of the spectrum is less well publicised in terms of the dangers of being underweight. Being underweight is all too often seen as the right thing to be "you can never be too skinny or too rich" is a mantra many girls (and boys) aspire to these days. This programme exposes the health dangers of being underweight and how it isn't actually attractive!
This programme has allowed me to broach the subject of weight with my daughter without making her paranoid about her own body (at the age of 8 she was already complaining that her thighs were'fat' because someone at school had made a comment) and hopefully it has gone some way to giving her a healthy approach to her diet for life. I'm not sure whether this has been an original intention of the programme, but for our family it has been a positive outcome.
Summary: very useful programme in my experience