Shock Therapy on TLC’s ‘Freaky Eaters’…Exploitation anyone?

Okay, so my Google alert on food addictions went off with a bang this morning! Salon.com posted an interview they did with the nutritionist for the show ‘Freaky Eaters’ on TLC. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love me some TLC. Why they brought the show ‘Horders’ into my life, the show that makes me gasp every 2 minutes! That  being said, I don’t feel the same way about the show ‘Freaky Eaters’. Did someone just call me a hypocrite? Let me explain…

The huge difference between the shows ‘Addicted To Food’ and ‘Freaky Eaters’ is the solution offered by the producers of the show. Both shows claim there is an “addiction” to food. Only one offers a real solution to the problem of addiction. In Drew Grant’s interview with JJ Virgin, the nutritionist explains the shows approach.

“You know, behavioral therapy is really more what we do at the end of the show, what I call the “lateral shift”: having people make small changes in their lives. When someone is an addict of any type, the classic thing is to deny the problem or the extent of it. Shock therapy is to show these people their problem in a way that makes it impossible to deny or to downplay it.” Explains, JJ Virgin.

What does JJ mean by “shock therapy”…

“…we had a guy who ate 3-6 burgers a day, so we backed a truck filled with burgers right up to him and dumped out all the patties, just covered him up.”

Hmmm… Good luck with that, JJ! I’m not trying to be sarcastic (maybe a little) but an addiction is an addiction… no matter what the drug is. Shock value will do nothing. For the most part addicts are aware of their addictions. Those that are not might need an intervention, sure. However, on this show… they are aware of their addiction, so that would contradict your need to shock them into an awareness. Right? Let’s say a Heroin addict over doses then wakes up in the hospital a couple days later… the friend he was using with wasn’t so lucky. The addict is released then goes back out and begins to use almost immediately.  The death of a friend, his own over dose and the ostracism from his family can not stop him from using. I heard this story from many while I was in treatment.

So, why would a moving van filled with hamburger patties stop a food addict? It can’t… and it wont. Awareness sometimes just doesn’t work. In order to recover from any addiction there has to be a pyschic change coupled with a spiritual awakening. That begins with a willingness to recover. Now, the shock value could help them hit their bottom, sure. Honestly, If I saw myself on TV in that situation… I’d be in a meeting the next day. In my opinion, the only way an addict is going to get any help is through treatment and or a 12 step group.

TLC, you have taken a bunch of addicts with a unique addiction and paraded them around for the world to see…. then you threw food at them. Awesome.   Read the full article here

My name is Brock Cravy and I’m addicted to me.

 

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