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The UK show "Supersize vs. Superskinny"

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This came to my head earlier today. It's a TV show I've watched a few episode of on youtube and it's interesting. It's a few years old.

Warning: If you have ED problems and are triggered by numbers (calories, weight, BMI) and such, it's probably not good to watch. This is in "Whatever" instead of "Eating Disorders" because I just want to know what others thing. It may be sorta offensive to non-UK watchers, there's a lot of dry humour.

 

There is one overweight adult, and one underweight adult. Most of them do not have a condition like anorexia, bulimia, EDNOS, or binge eating. They weight them, measure them, and calculate how much a day they should be eating to maintain a healthy weight. A lot of the time the people just eat terribly. One "supperskinny" man ate mostly chocolate bars, about 6 a day!

 

They then show how much each of them eats in a day or week in a tube. One is huge, one is next to nothing. The two meet, and they swap their diets for a week. They eat together and they do pretty much everything together in a clinic. The supersize person often feels very hungry while the superskinny can't get it all down. They don't punish them for not finishing.

 

After a week, they discuss how they felt eating so much/so little, re-weigh, and then track their progress at home. They come in and re-weigh and measure them a while later, and most of the time the supersize person is smaller and the superskinny person is bigger, and hopefully healthier.

 

I like how it shows that being "superskinny" can be just as bad for being "supersize". They are given advice from experts (doctors, dietitians) as well. It shows proper portions. 

 

Has anyone else heard of this show? What do you think? I think it's an interesting way to put things into a perspective. At first I was a bit offended, but I wasn't triggered. I suffered from EDNOS for many years and its still in my head as I'm at a high weight for me, and it's driving me bonkers. A lot of shows are fat-shaming (like "The Biggest Loser", with crash diets, overexercise...) but this shows both extremes. It also isn't a competition.

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I watched in on youtube when it came out. I was very early in recovery, then. I remember disliking it, but it's possible that I was being ED'd about it.

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I've never seen the show, but I find the concept in general distasteful because it smacks of body shaming all around. I don't like any show that puts people on display because they are considered beyond the norm. I realize that the participants are informed participants, they know what they are getting into, but I still don't like the concept. It makes singling out people who are super fat or who are super skinny seem okay, and further reinforces the belief that if someone IS super fat or super skinny, then they are clearly unhealthy when that is not at all the case. You cannot assess another person's health based purely on their body size/shape.

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If a person is morbidly obese, obviously they're unhealthy because the human body is not meant to be that large... it leads to all sorts of health problems

 

I know of a woman who is over 400 lbs partly due to psych meds and partly due to PCOS. She is a heavy weight lifter and a yoga instructor. She is a personal trainer as well. So, while this may be true for many, like any generalization, it is not true for all.

Also, someone who is 5' tall may be obese at 200 lbs. But the human body can easily take being 200lbs - many skinny people one foot taller are over that. So, yes. Our bodies can take the weight, at times. There are other mitigating factors.

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I disagree, surreal. It all boils down to genetics. If you are genetically predisposed towards conditions or diseases for which obesity is a risk factor, then yes, your weight may affect your health. But weight is just that - a risk factor. Not an absolute. Just like being male is a risk factor for heart disease, being black is a risk factor for diabetes, or being very fair skinned is a risk factor for skin cancer. You have higher odds of getting said disease, but not every person in that category is going to get that disease.

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They don't keep the switched diets after the initial week. They consult with the dietitian and doctors to get proper information on how to properly eat.

 

Well, pretty much everyone knows BMI is inaccurate. Body fat can be measured, but the worst fat is when it surrounds your organs, putting pressure on them. I forget the exact name for that type of fat.

 

Ideally a full physical workup is needed to tell if someone is healthy at their weight or not. Bad cholesterol, for example, can get anyone of any size. 

Unfortunately, many doctors, drug plans, insurance companies and whatnot jump to conclusions based on... BMI. 

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Well, pretty much everyone knows BMI is inaccurate. Body fat can be measured, but the worst fat is when it surrounds your organs, putting pressure on them. I forget the exact name for that type of fat.

 

Visceral fat.

 

I saw this you tube and thought it was interesting.  Didn't really have a reaction one way or another.

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They don't keep the switched diets after the initial week. They consult with the dietitian and doctors to get proper information on how to properly eat.

 

 

i think that, and your point about how being too thin can be unhealthy too, makes it sound more reasonable. i haven't seen the show myself and i'll admit i'm a bit...just generally i think shows ...reality shows that feature struggles...are exploitative. however, that one sounds a tad more balanced.

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They don't keep the switched diets after the initial week. They consult with the dietitian and doctors to get proper information on how to properly eat.

 

Well, pretty much everyone knows BMI is inaccurate. Body fat can be measured, but the worst fat is when it surrounds your organs, putting pressure on them. I forget the exact name for that type of fat.

 

Ideally a full physical workup is needed to tell if someone is healthy at their weight or not. Bad cholesterol, for example, can get anyone of any size. 

Unfortunately, many doctors, drug plans, insurance companies and whatnot jump to conclusions based on... BMI. 

That's good that they get information on how to eat properly.

 

My daughter is normal weight, but her lipids are high.  My son is very overweight and his blood tests are normal.  You can't tell by just looking.  We are working on diet with both of them and have seen some improvement.

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My dad was a normal/low weight, and he had a heart attack weeks after a physical. He is a heavy smoker (still is) and the doc said he was fine. Cholesterol was extremely high. The physician never checked it. My dad was 61 and an almost chain smoker, but that could have been caught..

 

Yes, visceral fat is the one you have to look out for.. I know they do all sorts of tests on "The Biggest Loser" to tell them that at 25, their "actual age" is 70 and they have diabetes and are going to drop dead in 10 seconds... (There is a book by a Biggest Loser winner, the first female, I think her name was Ali, who discussed the diuretic and laxative use, and all sorts of things that went on behind the scenes. Also, the fact that their most famous trainer, Jillian, has a bunch of DIET PILLS with her name on them, makes the show seem even worse! They're mostly caffeine or laxatives)

 

BMI was dropped years ago. People became obese overnight, literally, because the range was changed. 

 

CrankyMe: Genetics is a factor too. Shitty genetics can get you no matter what you do. 

 

I thought it was kind of an interesting "experiment". It wasn't so much "fat-shaming". 

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CrankyMe: Genetics is a factor too. Shitty genetics can get you no matter what you do. 

I've never seen the show but now my curiosity is piqued.  I did want to comment on the quote above.  I have shitty genetics.  I'm on cholesterol lowering medication, diet, etc.  Still my cholesterol is bad, but it has been cut in half.  :lol:  I was 38 when I had my little "heart event" and 2 stents.

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surreal, that wasn't what I said in my post. :) A person can be slim and muscular and get diabetes II. Ditto heart disease. Ditto high blood pressure. If there were absolute, direct links to those diseases and obesity, every single fat person would have them and every single slim person would not. That's not what happens. You CAN be 400 lbs and not have diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol nor any of the diseases associated with obesity.

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I watched more of these shows after this thread was posted, and thought it is a good concept overall of what the DR is doing.  I disagree with some things he does, but it all seems to be working so he must be on the right track.  I also like the parts where the people with EDs are followed and their progress made, and how it is done.

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I remember watching a few of these a couple of years back. I used to like the message that being 'superskinny' is just as bad as being 'supersize'. I think this message will always stay with me now. It was also good to get an insight into the person behind their weight, just from a curiosity point of view and to sort of compare myself to them to measure my 'healthyness' which probably wasnt the best thing to do but yh...

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