I Want to Save Your Life

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
I Want to Save Your Life TV Poster Image
Diet interventions are compassionate and realistic.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The series highlights the idea that physical and emotional balance is an important part of developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Some people talk about gaining weight when trying to cope with divorce, custody battles, the death of loved ones and other issues. Platkin's subjects are both male and female.


Mild references to looking beautiful and feeling sexy as they relate to losing weight and the subjects' self esteem.


The series is a promotional vehicle for Platkin. The Diet Detective uses an Apple Computer. Various fitness centers, including Stayin' Alive Fitness, and food markets like The Fresh Market are clearly visible.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Hard alcohol is shown being dumped out in a sink. Recommendations are offered about lower-calorie alcohol consumption, as well as limiting drinking in order to lose weight.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this series features a nutrition expert who helps people change unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits in order to lose weight and feel better about themselves. While much of the focus is on weight loss, it also looks at the underlying reasons why people are caught in unhealthy patterns. It also offers positive messages about finding positive balances in our lives initiating changes from within. While the overall series is mild, it does contain some discussions about alcohol consumption. It also contains some brief discussions about some difficult subjects, including divorce, custody battles and other issues that have led to some people's weight gain.

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What's the story?

I WANT TO SAVE YOUR LIFE is a reality series featuring author and self-proclaimed diet detective Charles Stuart Platkin as he stages undercover health interventions for people feeling trapped by unhealthy lifestyle choices. Each episode features Platkins going undercover and collecting information about his subjects' bad eating habits and non-existent exercise routines. After revealing himself, the diet detective spends a week acting as their nutritionist, fitness trainer and therapist to help them break bad habits and initiate healthier ones. Approximately four months later he returns to see if they were able to stay on track and are leading healthier and happier lives.

Is it any good?

Unlike many weight-loss shows, this series moves away from the idea of extreme exercising and dieting and focuses on restoring ones physical and emotional balance in order to live a healthier life. While there is a lot of attention paid to losing weight, the show's real focus is on the importance of developing a better sense of self-awareness in order to initiate positive lifestyle changes from within. Also worthwhile are the various examples of how people can make these changes by weaving healthy and realistic alternatives into their busy and often challenging lives.

Platkins is both well intentioned and compassionate as he highlights the importance of empowering oneself to commit to a healthy lifestyle that will improve their lives, rather than helping them fit into a lifestyle that has been designed by others. This focus on self-empowerment sends a positive message about being healthy, and underscores the idea that losing weight isn't just about dropping pounds, but is also a result of finding the strength to regain a sense of self.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what would motivate people to share their weight-loss journeys on television. Why do you think people are willing to share some of these very personal experiences so publicly? Do you think shows like this really help people lose weight or make healthier habits? Families can also talk about losing weight vs. living a healthy lifestyle. How can someone start rebalancing his/her life in order to look and feel better? Does living a balanced life mean having a healthy body image? Parents, check out our tips for talking to your kids about their physical health and its relationship to the media.

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