Freaky Eaters



Show about eating disorders is tame but not meant for kids.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show's overall message is that problematic eating habits will hurt you -- but that you can overcome them.

Positive role models

The people in the show are dealing with serious health issues, but they're working through them.

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Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The behaviors in the show are addictive behaviors, but there doesn't appear to be any actual use of alcohol, drugs, or smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a show about obsessive behavior -- in this case, unusual food addictions. Be ready to explain to your kids that there's a big difference between an adult who will eat nothing but pizza and a toddler going through a similar phase. Although there's not much outright iffy content in terms of sex, violence, or language, this show isn't geared toward a family audience and is more age appropriate for older viewers.

What's the story?

Jason will only eat pizza -- morning, noon, and night. And yet he insists that his eating habit isn't really connected to his strange illness that leaves him nauseous a good chunk of the time. Another woman will only eat sugar. These two are FREAKY EATERS -- adults whose iffy eating habits go beyond unhealthy into obsessive and addictive.

Is it any good?


The good news about Freaky Eaters is that it's only a half hour long. And the bad news is that it's only a half hour long. So while it moves briskly, it also seems like the "cure" develops too quickly to be believed. For example, during a talk therapy session, the therapist presses the patient to look at his relationship with his sport and his mother; seconds into it, the patient says that he keenly felt his mother's disapproval. It probably usually takes a few weeks of therapy to get that far (and do people really complain about their mother's disapproval in those words?).

In short, Freaky Eaters makes it seem like a seriously messed-up individual can turn his or her life around with a minimum of fuss and time. Hopeful, yes, but realistic? Maybe not so much.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how real this show is. Do you think it accurately portrays obsessive behaviors? Do you think the people featured in this series really change their habits as quickly as the show makes it seem?

  • What can viewers learn from the show? Does it help teach people about the disorder, or does it trivialize it?

  • If you had a disorder like this, would you want to talk about it on TV? Why or why not? Why do you think these people choose to?

TV details

Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG

This review of Freaky Eaters was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written byBieberFreakinFever January 10, 2012

Good, but gross

This show is great and teaches what can happen if you become to addicted to a food. It's entertaining, but at times it will probably disqust you.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Educator and Parent of a 8 year old Written byruthd July 26, 2014

Can instill empathy

Food issues are prevalent and there are plenty of unhealthy judgments toward people who have challenges with eating. This would be helpful to watch with friends or family you are concerned about. Children and young adults may learn to empathize and gain awareness cues. Recommend to individualize appropriateness with children. Content contains "shock therapy" and seems as if issues can be miraculously fixed in a short period of time. Food phobias and tactile difficulties are more complicated so the timeliness of "fixing" the issues will be varied and not happen over night.
Educator and Parent Written byCommonSenseChristian February 7, 2014

The Food's Fine, But Not Great

As a lover of all things psychological, I am drawn to this show, but be warned that it is for adults and mature teens only, for several reasons. The fact that the people featured literally live on one food is not a positive message for children, particularly since those foods are often junk, like French fries, pizza, or burgers. Some featured guests have tragic stories as to how and why they have become addicted to this one food. Vomiting and other ill effects can be shown, and the show's hosts, particularly nutritionist J.J. Virgen, are not above using scare tactics to get guests to change their habits. These can include graves with the guests' names on them or big coffins filled with what the guests will never get to do or see if they do not stop eating this food. My concern is that children would either take this show as a license to be overly picky, or become frightened that they will die horrible deaths if they ever touch a candy bar again. Besides that, the show sends the message that such entrenched eating disorders as the guests have can be "fixed" in a short time. This is not only untrue, but paints an unrealistic and possibly dangerous picture of eating disorders of any kind. Only watch if you're an adult and a discerning foodie.


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