Review: My 22 Stone Dad & Skinny Me

January 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Reviews

Born Surviviors, Monday 9pm BBC 3 Alert Me

BBC takes a leaf out of ITV’s documentary manual this week with a tepid look at what could have been an interesting topic.

Born Survivors tackles the story of fifteen year old Emma, who suffers from anorexia, and her father Grant who is clinically obese. Emma, we are quickly told, blames her father for her relationship with food.

It’s a strangely unspoken story, the similarity in psychology between those who over and under eat and Emma and Grant seem on the surface to be a perfect example.

Grant is a doting but protective father, who needs to examine his own habits in order to help his daughter change hers, as he reveals ‘My relationship with food is not terribly different from Emma’s’.

What is interesting about their story is the connection for both father and daughter in food, however tonight’s episode of Born Survivors struggles to break the superficial connection of ‘he’s fat and i’m skinny’ (a fact basically conveyed by the title: ‘My 22 Stone Dad Dad and Skinny Me’).

Grant and Emma’s relationship is one that most can identify with, and the acknowledgment that to over eat is as much of a disorder as under eating is a challenge both for the family and for viewers. Yet with rates of eating disorder and obesity going through this roof, this should have been a contemporary and interesting story.  However this difficult topic gets only a brief once over from the Born Survivors strand and feels like it should have said a whole lot more.

By McGee Noble