Eat Well For Less is a program on BBC 1 which features people who are spending too much money on their shopping.
How it works
Two chefs; Greg Wallace and Chris Bavin, secretly watch people doing their shopping before confronting them at the till with the reality of their shop. They then analyse their shopping over the previous month and calculate how much is being spent.
The program then follows the people over a week while they are making swaps in their foods. Swaps devised by Greg and Chris to see if they can be detected.
The aim is to show that it is possible to eat on a lower budget without compromising on health or quality.
This week’s program featured a couple who were both overweight and diabetic, facing a future of chronic ill health. They had an unbelievably bad diet and one of them was a nurse. She was refusing to drink diet coke and was effectively saying that she wanted sugar even if it killed her. They drank 4 – 6 cans of soda between them a day. They ate no vegetables except chips. Their diet featured lemon curd sandwiches in white bread and a cupboard full of the sweet boxes and jars which you would buy in a cash and carry. His particular favourites were flying saucer sweets and he had a whole jar of them.
The program highlighted the problem we have in this society. We are so dependent on sugar and carbs that someone like me coming in and asking people to completely change the way we eat, exercise and deal with stress is just not going to be effective. When even nurses are unaware of the importance of a healthy diet and exercise, asking people to make huge changes is futile!
Greg and Chris made small changes to the couple’s food over the course of the week. They persuaded them to cook and eat vegetables although they did not recognise what some of them were. Their sweet cupboard was placed off limits and takeaways were banned for the week.
By the end of the program the couple had both lost a significant amount of weight and were feeling better. A follow up on their progress showed that they had continued with good habits. The couple had lost more weight, changing their health prognosis for the better. He was no longer wearing arm supports suggesting that his arthritis might have improved.
The twittersphere was still scathing about their improved diet. People pointing out that bananas still contain a large amount of sugar and even brown bread is not that great for diabetes, but…
The takeaway is that small changes can have a huge impact and you have to start working with people where they are at. Starting where you would like them to be does not work.