Watching the British television show Supersize vs Superskinny will make you feel as dirty as if you’d paid a buck to peek into a freak show. But you still won’t be able to stop watching.
Supersize, now in its second season on England’s Channel 4 (and massively excerpted on the station’s YouTube channel), finds a new pair of people each week, one morbidly obese, one dangerously underweight. The two are taken to a feeding clinic and, for five days, each fed what the other would typically eat in a day. The show says it’s an effort to shock participants into healthier eating. Don’t believe it. It’s a spectacle, pure and simple, as the small folks struggle to tuck into piles of mashed potatoes and fried chicken, and the large subsist on diet drinks and bare salads.
Here’s a typical clip, wherein skinny Gillian pushes away her plate o’ plenty after a few bites, while hefty Philippa demolishes a salad and miniquiche and then looks sad. (Sorry, they’ve disabled the embed codes, so you’ll have to jump over to YouTube.)