Nobody wants to eat less or to eat more healthily.
You can tell exactly how much nobody wants to make these simple changes by the enthusiasm for daft diets.
There are people who drink a daily cocktail of maple syrup, cayenne pepper and lemon juice.
There are people who say you shouldn’t eat anything your caveman ancestors wouldn’t have eaten or that you should only eat raw vegetables.
We would say anything, believe anything, rather than take the obvious steps.
Perhaps, though, as The Truth About Slim People (Channel 4) hinted, the steps are not that obvious.
It was easy to hope for some big revelations from this televised experiment, whose subjects, Yemi and Anne-Marie, could eat like carthorses without looking like them.
Actually, it wasn’t hard to see why biscuit-fiend Yemi stayed so slim.
The father of two didn’t drink alcohol, he walked everywhere and his idea of a takeaway treat was a roll from Subway.
Towards AnneMarie, however, it was difficult not to feel a very particular mixture of jealousy and fury.
She knocked back glass after glass of vino on a night out, ate fast food for lunch, drove everywhere and her favourite snack was a cheese pasty drowned in salad cream.
There ought surely to have been some magic of DNA or bowel bacteria that kept her trim.
Alas no, the close surveillance of Yemi and Anne-Marie just revealed that they led far healthier lives than they seemed to.
Yemi, married to a chef, ate home-cooked, fresh food every day, the portions doled out by his missus.
He only ate snacks as part of a meal and he slept well.
Anne-Marie’s pasty binges were balanced by long periods of abstinence and even though she worked in an office, she was never still.
The truth about slim people, in other words, is that we rarely see the truth.
Between the much-envied skinny colleague and the shipping weight of cakes they scoff, there’s a whole raft of other factors that determine whether someone gets fat or thin.
It may not boil down to eating less and doing more but it boils down to several, equally boring things nobody really wants to do.
Change was coming to Detectorists (BBC4) and however obsessed hobbyarchaeologists Andy and Lance might have been with the past, the future was rushing up to hit them.
Treasure still lay in their beloved field and even if it didn’t, it was where they went, with their metal detectors, and where they wouldn’t be able to go once a giant solar energy plant was slapped onto it.
We’ll have to see whether the third series of this funny, sad, tender TV show is caught up with fighting for the field, or whether Lance and Andy’s inner battles take centre stage.
It’s clear, though, that it’s shed its sitcom disguise in favour of something deeper.
They’re both men without a place, new dad Andy (Mackenzie Crook) having taken up smoking so he can get out from under his mother-in-law’s feet, Lance (Toby Jones) having to shuffle awkwardly around the daughter who’s taken over his flat.
At the same time, their hobby isn’t just an escape, it’s a religion.
When Andy found an old hawking whistle in the field and blew it, they both shivered, experiencing history like a vision.
It would be easy to make a comedy that mocked men and their little hobbies.
This turns an obsession into TV treasure.
Published at Thu, 09 Nov 2017 11:10:00 +0000