I Know What You Ate Last Summer - Wednesday April 11

i know what you ate last summer
(2/4) 20.00–21.00

This documentary series follows six obese British teenagers as they spend two potentially lifechanging months at Wellspring Adventure Camp in California. In tonight’s programme, the physical regime starts to kick in; the group prepares for a punishing mountain hike in the Sierras; and the kids find out if they have lost any pounds at the first weigh-in.

The hard work of the previous fortnight at the camp is beginning to show – especially in terms of the amount of sweat the kids are producing. Today there is a surprise in store for the children: they are going white-water rafting on the Kings River. “I’m scared out of my head!” says Emmanuella. This hair-raising expedition is designed to boost self confidence, and show inactive kids that anything is possible. It is a first for all the British kids, but Emmanuella in particular takes to it like a duck to water. It is very strenuous, but the group learns that burning off calories can actually be fun. “That was one of the most exhilarating, exciting experiences of my life!” says Jorjie. “I haven’t seen so many smiles in years,” adds camp instructor Jed.

The kids will soon be heading deep into the mountains, but first they stop off at the Academy of the Sierras (AOS). A unique boarding school for obese teens, AOS will be their base camp, where they can clean up, get provisions and have their first weigh-in. They will sleep on a dormitory floor – luxury bedding after camping for two weeks – and get to do some washing! “It’s a smell I never even thought I possessed,” jokes Jorjie, disgusted at the state of her trainers.

Later, it is time for the weigh-in. Will the kids’ cycling, snorkelling, running and walking have paid off? Jorjie feels toned, but does not think she has lost weight – so she is delighted at the news that she has lost seven pounds. Adam has lost just over that; Alyssa has dropped almost a stone; and Nyondo screams with joy when he is told that he has lost just over eight pounds. The heaviest of the group, starting off at 23 stone, Emmanuella is staggered to hear that she has lost 14.2 pounds; and her twin, Lizzie, has lost 24! “I know that I can do it now,” says Lizzie later. “Whereas before I thought, ‘No, it’s not working’.”

At AOS, the emphasis is on educating the children so that they do not put all the weight back on when they get home – something of which Alyssa is particularly afraid. Tonight they will face a real challenge: they are going to a restaurant where they can choose whatever they want. Portion control proves painful but effective for some – but Adam realises afterwards that he probably should have avoided the burger, fries and coleslaw that packed 40 grams of fat.

When the stay at AOS comes to an end, the kids begin to prepare for their hike. They will be camping in survival conditions at altitudes of 9,000 feet and at temperatures of 30 degrees. They will have the option of getting on a horse at any point – the hardest test of willpower so far. Camp instructor Jessica calls the trip “the biggest physical and mental challenge so far”, and describes it as a metaphysical and literal journey from sea level to peak.

The prospect of the arduous journey is not welcomed by Alyssa, whose crippling homesickness is getting worse. “There are no words to explain how badly I just want to go home,” she says. Her mother begs her to stay, and behavioural coach Whitney tries to talk Alyssa through this bad patch. “If you’re changing your life for the better,” she says, “eight weeks is nothing.” But Alyssa ends up refusing to participate in the hike, resulting in her resentful group being delayed while the others get a head-start. Instructor Jed is brought in to try and talk some sense into her – but will his “tough love” tactics do the trick?

About the author

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1