The World's Best Diet, Channel 4 - TV review
Ellen E Jones
Ellen is The Independent's TV critic. She writes a daily review of Last Night's TV and a weekly 'Inside TV' column for the i paper, as well as a column on general topics for the main paper most Wednesdays. Ellen is a former Hollywood correspondent and a contributing editor to Little White Lies, she's written on TV, film, lifestyle, travel and politics for publications including the Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, Esquire and Total Film.
Tuesday 01 July 2014
If you like your food programmes served with a side of geopolitics, then The World's Best Diet (Channel 4), a feature documentary from the team behind Channel 4's series Food Unwrapped, would have hit the spot. Jimmy Doherty and Kate Quilton had the enviable task of travelling the world and lunching with the locals, as they counted down 50 diets from worst to the best.
Many placings are as you'd expect – the fatties in the US of A scored low thanks to the evil that is high-fructose corn syrup and the Mediterranean diet with all its cholesterol-lowering olive oil ranked highly – but there were surprises too. We discovered a solution to the French paradox or how Parisians manage to eat so much camembert and still stay so chic, and how a free trade deal with America led decades later to an epidemic of rotting teeth among Mexican children. Most inexplicable was Doherty's bizarre bonhomie with his unsuspecting interviewees. What would infotainment be without a Ethiopian farmer challenged to a sweetcorn-pooing contest? Or a homoerotic, sauna-based interview with an Icelandic fitness champion? Boring, that's what.
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