Freaky Eaters

TV review by Anne Louise Bannon, Common Sense Media
Freaky Eaters Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 13+

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

Parents say

age 14+

Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 11+

Based on 2 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 10+

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.
age 17+

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.

TV Details

  • Premiere date: September 5, 2010
  • Network: TLC
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-PG
  • Last updated: February 25, 2022

Our Editors Recommend

  • Intervention Poster Image

    Intervention

    Hellish reality journeys are eye-opening.

    age 16+
  • Hoarders Poster Image

    Hoarders

    Docu about compulsion is more sensational than educational.

    age 15+
  • Confessions: Animal Hoarding Poster Image

    Confessions: Animal Hoarding

    Hazardous, unhealthy homes aren't fit for pets -- or kids.

    age 15+
  • Obsessed Poster Image

    Obsessed

    Sensitive, intense docu about coping with anxiety disorders.

    age 15+

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate