Everyone has a food they love to eat above all others, but on “Freaky Eaters”, TLC’s latest awful attempt at food-related programming, the subjects are obsessed with eating very specific types of food to an unhealthy and unbelievable extent.

Freaky Eaters

Sundays at 10 p.m.
TLC

By diving deep into the lives of food addicts, TLC tries to show the pain and fear these people face. The show not only explores why they are addicted to one particular type of food, but also tries to help the addicts break free from their addictions.

First, there’s Victor, who can’t stop eating cheeseburgers. On average, he eats about four burgers a day, which makes for around 1,500 a year. He claims that he does not like any other type of food, and claims his body physically rejects anything else. Not only is this obsession affecting his health, but Victor’s eating habits are ruining his marriage. His wife is concerned for him but has no clue how many burgers he is actually consuming in just one week.

Then there’s Christina, whose obsession with sugar has led her to cut out all non-sugary foods for 20 years. She believes her obsession with sugar is tied to the fact that she was separated from her children after a nasty divorce. Eating sugar hasn’t just inhibited her from going out in public and meeting people, but also from facing her random and seemingly unrelated fear of water.

In order to fix both Christina’s and Victor’s problems, a so-called nutritionist and psychologist are called in to take them both through an intense week of therapy. First, the therapists put them through tacky “shock therapy.” For Victor this involves a semi-truck full of empty burger containers, and for Christina this entails seeing her name written on a headstone surrounded by bags of sugar in a real cemetery. These overly dramatic “shocks” are clearly TLC’s attempt at trying to make entertaining TV and might do more harm than good.

After they are “shocked” into realizing their issues, Victor and Christina are forced to eat other foods. Incredibly, once they taste other foods, they instantly love them. It’s literally unbelievable. This sudden transformation makes it seem like the over eaters of “Freaky Eaters” weren’t actually addicted at all.

The show tries to connect the addicts’ problems to their foods of choice while it turns away from acknowledging or trying to discover the origins of those obsessions. It seems completely infeasible that introducing new foods could get to the root of the problem.

Instead of being concerned for the over eaters, TLC has presented them as implausible. Real life does not go from one extreme to another, and change takes a lot more work than being “shocked” into transformations. The only thing “Freaky” is that TLC thinks anyone could enjoy this show.

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