Diet Doctors Revisited

Wednesday 24 January: 20.00–21.00
Diet Doctors Dr Wendy Denning and Vicki Edgson revisit some of the programme’s previous participants to see how their diets have worked out for them. Tonight’s episode sees the pair drop in on 31-year-old Daniel Davis.

One year ago, Daniel was the series’ youngest and heaviest contributor. The gentle giant was so heavy that when he was weighed for the first time, the scales were unable to give a reading. Carrying a massive 25-and-a-half stone, he had to sleep with an oxygen mask to prevent himself choking. In the two-and-a-half years previous to his appearance on the show, Dan had put on some 100 pounds and had finally reached the conclusion that his health problems were out of control.

Dan suffered from sleep apnoea – a condition that meant he struggled for breath in his sleep – as well as gout and high blood pressure, making him a prime candidate for a heart attack. He also had skin and liver problems, high cholesterol, and suffered from low testosterone, iron and copper. He admitted at the time, “I need to lose a lot of weight and totally retrain the way I think about eating.”

Dan was self-employed and spent most of his time driving from appointment to appointment, and all his meals came from either the garage or a convenience store. Such food is high in salt, sugar and calories, and is lacking in many of the food groups needed for a healthy diet.

The diet doctors had their work cut out, and began by overhauling Dan’s diet. Most of the contents of his fridge had to go: they banned highfat foods, and started him on more complex carbohydrates and smoked foods to lower the risk of gout attacks. He was made to cut down on alcohol, as this worsened his gout, causing him periods of agonising pain. Wendy and Vicki also encouraged Dan to replace his pasties and pies with lots of vegetables, fruit, lean meats and fish.

His consultation with the diet doctors opened Dan’s eyes to the full effects of his unhealthy diet. He felt “terrible, worried and disgusted” by his situation, and promised to start buying more fresh food and playing in the park with his son.

Dan threw himself into his new regime. Within weeks his new diet had made him feel more energetic and motivated. He felt so good that he stopped taking his gout tablets – and was roundly castigated by the diet doctors! Dan started cycling as well. After six weeks, he began to look very pale so his diet was adjusted to include more red meat and dark green vegetables.

Dan’s hard work began to pay off. Just three months into his regime, he had lost over two stone and looked to be well on his way to fulfilling his ambition of being 17 stone. He had more energy to play with his son, and his general outlook on life was greatly enhanced. His sleep apnoea improved, his testosterone levels balanced, his blood pressure began to decrease and his mineral levels were reaching normal. He had also started to prepare healthy meals for work.

All this, however, was a year ago. As Wendy and Vicki head back to Dan’s home, will they find that he has maintained his initial enthusiasm and achieved the svelte figure for which he seemed to be heading? Will his health problems have cleared up to allow him an active lifestyle with his son? Or will everything the diet doctors taught him have slipped his mind the moment the cameras left?

Also in tonight’s programme, 38-year-old Robert, a school assistant and keen jogger, offers his services as a ‘lab rat’. He is asked to try Dan’s old diet and live entirely on food bought from petrol stations for two weeks, while maintaining his exercise regime. He finds the food “beyond disgusting”, and he is soon suffering from wind and constipation. Can he make it to Day 14 without collapsing in a heap?

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