In the TV programme Obese, we met extremely overweight people embarking on strict weight loss regimes. Does this sort of programme help in the battle against obesity?
It isn't a bad programme, though. I think that it carries a warning for many overweight people: this is where obesity can land you. Hopefully this will work on people's unconscious: I mustn't get too overweight, otherwise I will end up in a negative spiral. The skin hangs off the people who lose weight - which is pretty off-putting. I could imagine that this would be enough to persuade people who are ten kilos overweight to lose five kilos.
I once lived on an unhealthy diet for a month to see what it does to you, for my book Gezond eten, gewoon doen (A healthy diet: just do it). I ate a high calorie diet with lots of sugars, salt and saturated fats and hardly any vegetables or fibres. Within days my bowels were knotted with constipation, but after a week I was used to all that sweet and salty stuff and then I started to enjoy it. I put on more than two kilos, but what worried me most was how quickly you get used to it.'