General chatter - Supersize vs. Superskinny TV Show




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AwShucks
08-04-2013, 11:27 AM
Has anyone else seen this British TV Show "Supersize vs. Superskinny" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XE4-ncMaxpM&list=PL023A5A9ADA49723C)? I've linked to a general page that has lots of episodes.

I spent the good part of yesterday fascinated by this show and it's premise. A doctor pairs up one supersized person and one superskinny person to live together for 5 days in a "feeding clinic" and subsist on each other's menu. They show mealtimes, and both participants are usually shocked at how little or how much they (in real life) actually eat. And, they're sympathetic that the other person now has to eat that quantity... perhaps no food for one participant for 48 hours, and boxes of sweets and candy, mounded plates for their counterpart.

OMG! So eyeopening! At the end of the time together, they're both put on a "feeding plan" and meet again with the doctor in 3 months. Usually one has lost weight, and one has gained -- but both are in a much better frame of mind.

At some point, the doctor will take the overweight participant to America to meet someone who has major health and mobility problems to "shock" them into thinking about their own future. I find these segments somewhat exploitive, but they're fascinating. It's given me a lot to think about. I have been where some of these people have been.

I wonder if anyone has thought to do these kinds of shows in America. I find this so much more enlightening than "Extreme Weight Loss Makeover", where they show only the exercise, but not the food plan. To me, the food is the most important part. That's where the darkness lies... where the real work needs to be done. Even the Biggest Loser focuses more on exercise than food and "issues."

Just had to put this out there. I stumbled across it, but I'm glad I did -- it has made me think. What do you guys think?


MauiKai
08-04-2013, 12:42 PM
I have seen this show, but not for some time. Are they still doing the thing where at the start of the show they dump all the food into the clear tubes so they can see the volume of food they are eating?

While I'll admit to watching the show back when I had cable, and therefore BBC, I was never comfortable with the show. I always felt that they made the "fat" participant just look horrible and feel horrible. Several times I saw the skinny person say things to the large person like "You're disgusting how can you eat all this?" I didn't care for that. I don't remember them taking anyone to America though. Perhaps that's a newer thing?

AwShucks
08-04-2013, 01:16 PM
Yes, they do show the amount of food they both eat in a week at the beginning. The differences in the amounts is amazing. The thin people usually short themselves about 2 days worth of food, and the big people overeat by several days worth of food, too.

I can see the point. I've been thinking about what I eat weekly, and wondering what it would look like all piled up. Or, even just a day's worth.

Remember that picture book that had people around the world posing with the quantities of food that they would eat? (I think it was in a week -- may have been a day) I found that fascinating, too.

Yes, some of the comments they make to each other seem snarky, but I think, really, it's an innocent fascination with their opposite. And, overall, they seem to learn from each other. I can imagine that if this show was recreated in America, they'd egg them on to be nasty to each other to make the show "more interesting" like other American reality shows.


anm17
08-04-2013, 05:47 PM
This show sounds very interesting. Thanks for posting about it, it sounds like something I would definitely like to check out.

PatLib
08-04-2013, 05:53 PM
Several times I saw the skinny person say things to the large person like "You're disgusting how can you eat all this?" I didn't care for that. I don't remember them taking anyone to America though. Perhaps that's a newer thing?

You know that aspect never bothered me here because it is obvious that the skinny person has as much as an eating disorder as the fat person. Something else I noticed is that the thin person often fixates on unhealthy food like Top Ramen while more often then not the fat person is eating healthier food just way to much of it.

It does a good job of showing that skinny can be unhealthy too!

lbsgobyebye
08-04-2013, 09:07 PM
I've seen it and few times and was always amazed at how little the thin people ate. I would think a person would starve on what those people ate!

The amount the fat people ate: I've eaten that much in a day many, many times. Sadly, it usually seems like a 'normal' amount of food to me.

I like the show. I'd hate if they 'Americanized' it.

fitstrongchica
08-04-2013, 09:17 PM
I started watching that show online a few years ago. I find it interesting too! At one point I was watching it all the time..lol

musicalchick
08-04-2013, 10:07 PM
Yes I love it youtube really has opened up my eyes on a few things.

pnkrckpixikat
08-05-2013, 11:25 AM
They don't take them to america, at least in all the ones I have seen, but they do take them to a UK hospital to meet someone. In the last season I saw (2?) it was a woman who was going through a gastric bypass because she had so many health issues that they were afraid she would die within a couple of years and were hoping to extend that out. she was pretty much immobile and had to have a private nurse to help with everything, bathing dressing etc.

They did send on of their regulars to America to try different "American Fad Diets" to see if they really worked. That might be what you are thinking of.

AwShucks
08-05-2013, 10:12 PM
Actually, they did send some participants to America. It looks like there are 8 seasons on You Tube and that's a lot of shows. I skipped around when I was watching, and I did see the one you mention with the English gastric bypass patient. But, there are at least 4 other shows where they visit Arizona, Texas (twice) and Florida. The Americans are all in pretty much the condition you describe, but they're living at home. I believe one in Dallas was in a nursing home. Maybe the trips are something they added as they went along in the seasons. I'm going to start with season one and watch through. It's a fascinating show.

pnkrckpixikat
08-06-2013, 12:23 PM
Actually, they did send some participants to America. It looks like there are 8 seasons on You Tube and that's a lot of shows. I skipped around when I was watching, and I did see the one you mention with the English gastric bypass patient. But, there are at least 4 other shows where they visit Arizona, Texas (twice) and Florida. The Americans are all in pretty much the condition you describe, but they're living at home. I believe one in Dallas was in a nursing home. Maybe the trips are something they added as they went along in the seasons. I'm going to start with season one and watch through. It's a fascinating show.

HUH, thats kind of weird that they would go to all the expense to fly them to america just to meet someone super heavy. I know it is more common in america but they obviously could have found people in the UK. Did they show other parts of the travel, like uncomfortableness in the airplane etc? Or was it really just "don't turn into fat lumps like americans" because that is offensive and puts me off the show a whole lot.

luckymommy
08-06-2013, 12:48 PM
I found out about this show recently right here on 3fatchicks and I watched all the seasons of it obsessively. I do like it (obviously!) but there are things I don't like. First, when I see all of the fatty foods the overweight participants eat, it usually makes me want it. I don't get disgusted by it at all (unless it's something I'm not familiar with that they don't have here in America or when they dump it all into the tubes).

Second, I wish they would give details about the eating plans they send them home with and show them following those plans at home.

Third, I don't like that they send them all the way to America to show them people who are very heavy. Can't they find people elsewhere? Why just focus on America? As the season progress, Dr. Christian ends up going to the fattest cities in America, etc. I dunno...it just seems like they're trying to (pardon the pun) feed into the stereotypes of Americans.

That said, I do enjoy the show a lot mostly because I relate to the food addicts and I do always wonder what other people eat since my relationship with food is so sick.

diamondgeog
08-06-2013, 02:32 PM
Well I'm not offended in the least because I know I am overweight and I know collectively America is as well.

I finished reading the cover article from National Geographic this month. It just says sugar. We are...by far...the highest consumption of high fructose corn syrup per person per year.

We were sold a bill of goods with our food pyramid and for political and money interests we had HFCS put in almost everything. And here is the thing. Once you eat it, it doesn't fill you up, you just eat more.

So yeah America is, probably, on average and per capita the most overweight country in the world. Certainly in the top 5.

For me personally it doesn't help to think I'm not overweight. I feel awesome right now because I am eating healthy and exercising more than I ever have daily. My blood pressure and blood work has improved so much and is pretty darn good. But I am still overweight with a long way to go.

As long as there is constructive information in the show, which I haven't seen, hey compared to England we probably are the fat capital of the world. Denying doesn't help. Understanding and correcting does.

luckymommy
08-06-2013, 02:43 PM
I just don't see why they have to use us as an example. Why not just focus on their own country? They don't have a perfect society either and we wouldn't go over there to point out their issues. I'm not offended by it at all....I just know there's a lot of hating on America and I don't think focusing on our weight issues is how they should go about fixing their weight issues.

kaplods
08-06-2013, 06:10 PM
I just don't see why they have to use us as an example. Why not just focus on their own country? They don't have a perfect society either and we wouldn't go over there to point out their issues.

Well to be fair, yeah we would, and routinely do. Many, many, many American television shows have gone and will go to other countries, to showcase how much better it is to live here than "there," wherever there happens to be.

The UK does not corner the market on foreigner and other-country bashing.

AwShucks
08-06-2013, 06:34 PM
I thought the same thing when I first watched this - that it was bashing America. I do think that's their intent. They consistently mentioned Evansville, Indiana as the "fattest city" in America in a couple of shows, and show people on the streets at their worst angles, etc. They are not trying to show us in a good light at all. However, the Americans come across as lovely people, really concerned for their British counterparts. So, actually, I'm not sure they're achieving their intent. Even though we're a fat society, we're very friendly!

Another thing I noticed (I only watched 5 or 6 shows, so this may not be entirely correct), the people they visited in America seemed to live in pretty bad conditions. I cringed at the state of their homes. I know if they were coming to visit me and I was going to be on TV, I'd tidy up and probably attempt to remodel before I ever let those cameras in! ha!

Maybe that's just one of my personal hangups. I don't like people to see my house when it's a mess. I kept thinking... I bet they scouted the location and said, "Don't touch a thing. We want to film your home just as it is - in all it's glory." I do think that some of them would've cleaned up a bit if given the chance... I felt for them. However, come to think of it, in their physical condition, I'm not sure they could've done much housework.

The show is just enlightening to me. I've been 350 lbs, and I was miserable. And, I could very well have gone higher if something hadn't clicked. I guess I'm just very empathetic to the overweight participants, and I can "feel" their pain. It's not every day that you see very large people and hear their authentic stories and struggles -- in America, we're always the butt of some joke.

diamondgeog
08-07-2013, 08:38 AM
I watched a couple of episodes last night. Thanks for the thread. I did think the Americans were very nice and did themselves credit especially being so nice in spite of their hearbreaking conditions.

I think the show was saying yeah we have it very bad in England; this is a serious crisis. But it is even worse in America and this is where we are heading. Could they have used even heavier than on the show English? Probably.

In any event I didn't find it my cup of tea so to speak, so I probably won't watch it anymore. I also think they undersized what the supersized actually eat for the 48 hour diet exchange. But an interesting show overall. I did see on youtube another show I had never seen secret eaters that was interesting enough I got though half an episode. I glean a thing or two from a lot of these shows so they help.