Channel 4 is offering for our viewing pleasure a programme based around ‘we are what we eat’ and it’s fronted by the sort of wide-eyed, grinning zealots who would eschew cake for broccoli and get excited about the thought of a glass of wheatgrass cordial. They mean well but it’s just another format of ‘let’s find someone who doesn’t know or care much about nutrition, feed them relatively well for a couple of weeks and then claim a success.’ The zealots are medical doctors and a nutritionist who didn’t buy her qualification on the internet so it’s not a simple remake of that woman who looked at poo and humiliated people.
Last week they hauled in a woman on who lives a life of eating fried food and drinking lots of wine (no, it wasn’t me) and suffers from the most dreadful reflux which was destroying her vocal cords. They put her on a diet which involved less fried food and alcohol and hey presto, she was cured. Hurrah. Mr T and I were hurling abuse at the telly by this stage but unable to actually reach for the off switch.
I know they’re not doing anything wrong but despite their wide smiles and happy faces they seemed to be sucking most of the joy out of life and there seemed to be something of the cult about them. But, in fairness, I was quite heartened to hear them say that for most healthy people who eat a reasonable diet they don’t need supplements or vitamins. At this point I thought that I might be being slightly unfair and perhaps they weren’t as annoying as all that because anyone who’s poking a finger in the eye of those vitamin pushers is a friend of mine. Then they spoilt it all by recommending probiotic yogurt. ALL yogurt (that is, yogurt that isn’t a chemical, fat-free paste) is live and contains cultures which will do all the things that probiotic yogurt claims to do. There’s an extra culture added to the ‘probiotic’ yogurt which the makers claim will do any number of wonderful things to your body but you’d have to eat half a ton of the stuff before you’d see any appreciable benefit.
Maybe we should just be teaching people that we can be friends with both cake and broccoli or is that just too simple?
(And to be even more fair they do have some stuff on their website that blows a hole in the theory of ‘super foods’ too, so not all bad.)