A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that although this series -- in which a popular British self-help author shares his advice on how to lose weight -- offers some healthy, non-judgmental advice, the way the plan is presented sometimes sounds more like an infomercial than a talk show. Tweens probably won't be too interested anyway, but weight-conscious teens might be. If so, make a point of reminding them that there are no "quick fixes" and that changing their relationship with food takes time and commitment. It's worth noting that some of the featured folks; personal stories bring up mature issues like adultery.
What's the story?
I CAN MAKE YOU THIN is a reality/talk show designed to change the way people think about food in order to help them lose weight. Star Dr. Paul McKenna is a popular British self-help author and hypnotist who has developed a plan for shedding pounds based on \"4 Golden Rules\": eating when hungry, eating what you want, eating consciously, and stopping when full. Each week he encourages people both at home and in his studio audience to follow these rules and change their eating habits. He also checks in with specific audience members selected to participate in his program to see how the plan is working for them.
Is it any good?
Although McKenna's rules aren't particularly innovative, he uses them to encourage people to rethink their relationship with food and how and why they eat it. Interviews with frustrated dieters highlight some of the common reasons why people can't lose weight, like eating too fast and depriving themselves of meals. He also addresses some difficult weight-loss issues -- including emotional eating -- and offers concrete exercises designed to break these habits, as well as some mental tricks created to help dieters regain some control over their food consumption.
Although the series offers some sound advice, it frequently sounds more like an infomercial than a talk show. Although McKenna isn't selling any specific products, he's promoting the idea that he's making people skinny rather than simply offering them techniques on how to help themselves. His claim that losing weight is "easy" and his oversimplified explanations of how the mind and body process food sound similar to some diet pill commercials. And then there are the testimonials from his satisfied former clients. But for teens who understand that there are no quick fixes, the show offers some healthy, non-judgmental suggestions on how to approach weight loss.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the media's role in promoting a healthy lifestyle. How does the media affect the way people think about food? Do you think the media promotes healthy habits overall? Why or why not? Families can also discuss the difference between talk shows and infomercials. Did you know that talk shows are designed to promote things like movies, books, products, and ideas? Do you think talk shows ever go too far in promoting something?
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