BBC Show “You Are What You Eat” Offers An Unflinching Look At Our Food Choices

I was going to end the post title with “what makes us fat” but the series is already so un-PC I’m trying to brace the reading audience. The series which is hosted by holistic nutritionist Gillian McKeith takes a look at the habits and motivations of everyday people who need  a wake up call to change their lives. At least by the time McKeith approaches them they’ve been primed, screened and ready to begin her regime.

The series typically peeks into the lives of an individual and their relationships. They then do a weekly breakdown of what the person normally eats (sometimes spreading it all on the table for added effect) and Gillian gives them a new food plan (also spread out so they can sample it) and exercise regime which they are to follow without substitution.

The subjects also get a complete medical screening to find out exactly where their health stands. There is always some form of crying and knashing of teeth but at the end of the episode the preliminary results are in and if they follow the new plan for a lifestyle change they will have successful results.

In this episode I chose a woman who’s getting married and has a child. Lisa Apston has a good home life and many of us would mistakenly attribute the “exception” rule to her in comparison to how black women need to take better care of themselves. That’s just not going to fly here though. At 28, she is already having libido problems which I’m certain were indicative of a host of other things going on that would negatively impact her relationship. By the way 1 stone = 14 pounds so Lisa is 112 lbs overweight. Note at the end of the episode when Lisa quips she might go shopping for a new man! Knowing your worth is priceless.

This was one of the milder episodes! You can check out a few more of the episodes on Youtube. As always a medical professional must be consulted and as a side note many people are soy intolerant but the point is to be make better life-affirming choices as quickly and definitively as possible.


There’s also the “Clean Eating” movement which encourages us to eat as little unprocessd food as possible with plenty of veggies, whole grains, fruits and water. Clean Eating Magazine has been a valuable resource.

10 Replies to “BBC Show “You Are What You Eat” Offers An Unflinching Look At Our Food Choices”

  1. Oh dear.

    First -- YAWYE is not made by the BBC, it's a Channel 4 production.

    Second -- Gillian McKeith is not a nutritionist, she's a charlatan and a fraud, as well as a bully and a liar.

    Seriously, this is not entertainment, it's a privileged woman mocking members of the underclass for the entertainment of the chattering classes.

    Please do not give McKeith the oxygen of publicity.

    Read the bloglink I've left.

    You cannot take advice from a woman who believes humans can make chlorophyll in their bodies.

    1. I'll bear in mind your name and take your comment with a grain of salt. I live in the US not the UK and it airs on the BBC here. You already strike out for being rude and condescending. If you don't find it useful then don't watch the show. It's that's simple really. If you have some useful information you can forward it to me privately but I won't be publishing it on my blog.

  2. I interned with a major food company two summers in a roll, 2008 and 2009 and i know about this all too well.

    I highly recommend the movie: "Food inc"

    1. ChizzyD: I saw Food Inc this summer when I attended the Consumers Union conference in DC. Yup. SCARY….

      kitten: It's fine to mention the weight issue. It is a touchy subject for many of us -- including me! That doesn't mean we shouldn't be having these discussions though. As far as fruits and veggies go I think it's a bit of reach to say they're "harmful" in and of themselves. I think it's more a matter of quantity and variety. People used to get scurvy from not consuming enough Vitamin C and pills will never be as wholesome as eating food. The other issue is the nutritional value of our food today but again all of these aspects need to be discussed with a medical professional. The bottom line is that BW need to take control of their health and well-being period. Full stop.

      foreverloyal: Thanks for letting us know. I'd definitely like more follow up shows.

  3. Faith:

    There’s also the “Clean Eating” movement which encourages us to eat as little unprocessed food as possible with plenty of veggies, whole grains, fruits and water.


    It is so important for black women to deal with the weight issue, even if it hurts. I hope you won't mind if I mention that there are genetic and physiological differences even between people who are biologically related (that is why we do not all get the same diseases and afflictions), so there is no one healthy way of eating that is appropriate for every human being.

    Some people NEED more fat and protein to stay lean and healthy and actually gain weight and develop diabetes and high blood pressure from eating a low fat, high carb diet, even if those carbs are "healthy" like fruit, starchy vegetables, and grains.

    There is an excellent book called "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes. It is not a diet book, but it summarizes the research about diet and obesity from around the world, going back to the 1800's, and explains why a diet with lots of fruit and vegetables is actually dangerous for some people. I think black women who are struggling with their weight and with conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure will benefit greatly from reading this book.

    There is a lot of politics in science and medicine and there are many people who have a vested interest in keeping the truth from coming out. I know vegetarians and vegans who exercise a lot and are still obese; they don't realize that they are sensitive to carbohydrates and because of this their bodies excrete too much insulin which causes carbohydrates to be stored as fat rather than burned for energy, even when they are not ingesting a lot of calories.

  4. I love Gillian McKeith! I used to watch this show all the time from my treadmill. Very inspiring.

    What I REALLY love about the show is at the end, they always give the health results: better blood pressure numbers, better sleep, reduced cholesterol well as the obvious appearance results. I've noticed people's skin usually looks noticeably better after they get with Gillian.

    1. foreverloyal: Those who complete the 8 weeks do look better of course the hair and makeup styling helps but there's an internal improvement as they ususally have an extra spring in their step as well. I'd like to see further results down the line and if they continue months afterwards.

      Betty Chambers: You had me laughing out loud at your comment! I've heard the contestants do all sorts of things to chat the scales and someone got caught this season. I know they get caught up in being yelled at by the dominatrix of exercise and the competition factor. It's a big process. It takes five years to successfully declare a weight loss regime as a permanent lifestyle change. I find the Biggest Loser a bit much to take but it is very popular.

  5. BBC always has some great programming.

    It's an exploitative sadistic mess of a show, but I'm starting to enjoy "Biggest Loser."

    A food diary is very important. Sometimes I'm shocked at how much I eat, but it helps me cut back.

Comments are closed.