World’s Best Diet Review: You Can’t Have Your Cake And Eat It

June 22, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

WORLD’S BEST DIET: Tuesday 23rd June, ITV1, 8pm Alert Me

We’re a nation obsessed with food.

When we’re not gawping at Nigella showing us how to cook in the first place, we’re watching Giles Coren and Sue Perkins stuff their way through history.

And when we’re done with that you can turn over to be hectored by people like the fraudulent harridan Gillian McKeith or “crusading? mockney monkey Jamie Oliver. So, here comes another show about diets…

World’s Best Diet aims to examine why we as Britons are getting fatter (1 in 4 Britons is obese) while other countries seem to sashay around in svelte smugitude. The two-part series is presented by Jonny Maitland, who immediately admits that he could do with losing a pound or six. It’s instantly endearing – you know he’s not going to be rubbing his lithe frame up against the camera while he patronises your face off.

He’s got some porky celebs with him too: former England cricketer Darren Gough, former Bucks Fizz singer Cheryl Baker, actress Linda Robson and journalist Carole Malone. They each get assigned a country and are shipped off to explore what it is about each one that makes their population healthier than ours.

So we get to see Cheryl Baker wandering around an Indian marketplace, prodding exotic vegetables and looking bewildered at trying to eat without a fork, Darren Gough being taught to cook Italian by Aldo Zilli (who’s much less irritating when he’s actually cooking rather than advertising Kellogg’s Optivita) and Jonny himself getting stuck into the traditional English diet of yore.

The experts on hand are dietician Catherine Collins (I couldn’t help but laugh when she mentioned “the gravity of the situation?) and unblinking motor mouth nutritionist Amanda Ursell, who occasionally go on about the benefits of “super-nutrients? and the goodness of porridge, but it’s nothing you haven’t heard four million times before.

This first part doesn’t really delve any deeper than, “other countries eat different food to us and they look healthier? and I imagine the results will be “when people eat less crap, they’ll lose weight.? Hardly groundbreaking stuff.

It’ll be interesting to see the second half which features Carol Malone doing the LA diet, which I thought was odd in its inclusion because surely when it comes to fat, the Americans take the biscuit… and the cake and the mars bar and that plate of chips too.

The clip also shows her running up some stairs with a personal trainer – surely negating the whole “who has the best diet? thing entirely. And that’s the problem with a show like this health isn’t just about who has the best diet; it’s who has the best lifestyle.

And anyway, when they reveal the results are you going to start eating nothing but sushi because of it? No. Pass the Hobnobs.

Jez Sands