Review: Welcome to the world of weight loss


Filmmaker Vanessa Engle tackled the delicate subject of weight loss in slimming clubs with elegance and sensitivity. In her BBC 2 programme “Welcome to the world of weight loss” Engle interviewed people and club leaders at Slimming World, WeightWatchers and Rosemary Conley. Each club takes a slightly different approach, from low fat eating regimes to having a small treat every day as long as all the other meals are healthy.

Some trends emerged in the documentary: people wanting to lose weight were plagued by unhappiness about their lives, maybe because of the pressures of caring for a family member, while others were putting on weight because they had become very happy in a stable relationship. Body dysmorphia was also addressed in the documentary, reporting the shocking truth that people suffering from the condition have a high suicide rate.

People’s relationship with food is powerful and primeval: as one of the interviewees said on her feelings about food, “In control with my eating, in control with my life”.

Engle asked the right questions in a respectful and sensitive manner. An excellent and insightful piece for television.

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Words by Paola Bassanese