Secret Eaters on Channel 4: Why are overweight people overweight?

Secret Eaters is a Channel 4 show which sets out to uncover the real reasons why certain people are really overweight. We’ve all met those people, you know the ones who say they eat exactly the same as their skinny friends but somehow their twice the size.

The programme is presented by a mandatory slim female, in this case Anna Richardson. Well you couldn’t exactly have some fat guy pointing out to women how obese or greedy they are now could you?

Secret Eaters

Each episode features the same plot. To start off with we’re introduced to an overweight couple who are totally mystified to how they’ve attained their current physical appearance.

When asked to make a diary of their daily eating habits, the results tend to defy all scientific reasoning. It turns out the two subject are in fact biological anomalies, somehow managing to consistently gain weight despite virtually starving themselves. According to the couples food diaries, their at time living off the calorie intake of an infant.

So in order to investigate what other worldly forces are at play, Channel 4 set up hidden cameras in full view around the subjects home. You now, as is standard practice in all the paranormal investigation shows on TV these days. Plus just in case the phenomenon isn’t restricted to the victims home, the producers hire private investigators to stalk them anytime they set foot outside.

Secret Eaters - Channel 4

However, after gathering a weeks worth of evidence there then comes a big plot twist. It turns out that far from consuming a small child’s daily diet, the couple were in fact eating the equivalent of a small child.

Then in order to cause minimum embarrassment or opportunity for the TV audience to mock them, the subjects are then played back the worse of the weeks footage on a big screen while again being filmed.

As the two look on like sleep walkers having their nocturnal activities finally revealed, the penny finally drops as they realize the true extent of their gastronomical lifestyles.

It turns out though that all this naming and shaming isn’t purely for the audiences entertainment, as the secret eaters now see the errors of their ways. Determined to right their wrongs, the couples then seek to transform their diets and lose that excess weight.

Even though each episode of Secret Eaters is effectively the same, conveniently allowing you to pre-judge the subjects before seeing any evidence. You do find yourself watching again, curious to see just how much food some people can get down them.

If you’ve watched the show, you may notice Secret Eaters also features extra segments in which various groups of non-overweight people have their eating habits scrutinized. These basically consist of the show demonstrating how when people are presented with delicious, free food, the eat it. Almost as if their somehow genetically predisposed to do so.

In reality the show does expose just how lots of people actually put on weight, though not to the same extent, genuinely not understanding why. So if the programme helps to turn a few viewers diets around, resulting in a slightly healthier nation then all the better.

Anyway, gotta go now, all this talk of secret eating has given me an apatite.