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Documentary series. With Britain now the most obese country in western Europe, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall challenges food producers and high-street shops to confront this crisis.

Documentary series exploring the obesity crisis. Britain is now the most obese country in western Europe. Two-thirds of us are already overweight and there's no doubt that our poor diet and lack of exercise is slowly killing us, as well as crippling the NHS. After smoking, obesity is the next biggest cause of premature death in the UK.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is on a mission to try and do something about it. In this new series, he pushes some of the biggest food companies and restaurant chains to become more transparent about what they are selling, and he asks the government what they are doing to tackle this health crisis. Hugh also sees if it is possible to change the eating habits of a whole city by challenging the people of Newcastle to lose 100,000lbs in a year.

Bad eating habits start when we are children. To prove this is true Hugh asks a group of seven-year-olds to do the weekly supermarket shop without their parents. Unsurprisingly, most of the kids head for the cereal section, where they pick from any number of brightly coloured, highly sugared breakfast cereals. But do their parents realise how much sugar is in the boxes?

Hugh also challenges the big brands over their lack of transparency when it comes to their cereal labels. All the supermarket own-brand cereals carry traffic-light labelling, which clearly shows in red, green or amber how much sugar is in the box - so why don't the market leaders?

In Newcastle, Hugh kicks off his ambitious project to see how much weight a city can lose over the course of a year. But after launching 'Newcastle Can' in the city centre, a passer-by stops Hugh to tell him that he is talking to the wrong people. If he really wants to make significant change, he needs to go and talk to people who live in more deprived parts of the city to understand the challenges they face.

Finally, Hugh meets a local bus driver who wants to lose weight but is addicted to snacking. This encounter encourages him to look at the increasing number of retailers who are tempting us into buying sweet treats on the go. Many of the major supermarkets have committed to stop selling confectionary at their checkouts, so why are other types of shops still doing it? As an experiment, Hugh sets up a replica of one chain's confectionary-laden checkout in a busy shopping street.

58 minutes

Last on

Tue 15 May 2018 03:10

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:01

    Baxter Dury

    Leak At The Disco

  • 00:03

    The Go! Team

    Buy Nothing Day

  • 00:11

    Baxter Dury


  • 00:13

    Hudson Taylor


  • 00:18

    Baxter Dury


  • 00:19


    No No No

  • 00:20

    The Divine Comedy

    Bang Goes The Knighthood

  • 00:30



  • 00:34

    Nora Orlandi

    Trumpet For A Silent Man

  • 00:40

    KT Tunstall

    Black Horse and the Cherry Tree

  • 00:42

    Florence + the Machine

    Kiss With A Fist

  • 00:48

    Alexandre Desplat

    A Dash of Salt Ludwigs Theme

  • 00:50

    Submotion Orchestra


  • 00:53

    London Music Works

    Cadbury's Milk Tray


Role Contributor
Presenter Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Executive Producer Will Anderson
Executive Producer Kari Lia
Director Helen Simpson


  • Wed 25 Apr 2018 21:00
  • Wed 25 Apr 2018 22:45
  • Sun 29 Apr 2018 14:55
  • Tue 15 May 2018 03:10

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Improve your health and well-being, and that of your family – Find out more with The Open University

Improve your health and well-being, and that of your family – Find out more with The Open University

Find out more with The Open University.

Hugh's Big Questions

Hugh's Big Questions

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