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Why is Germany trying to lose weight

00:00 Thu 31st May 2001 |

asks Allan:
A.
You mean the The Big Diet - a Big Brother-type TV show that's been designed to help thousands of overweight Germans lose weight The Big Diet, which started this week, features 12 overweight men and women, who will be watched by a nation as they try to lose as much weight as they can over 15 weeks.

Q. Is it just another reality TV show
A.
Not quite. Germany, like the US and the UK, is having to cope with a growing obesity problem. The country's overweight people - dubbed Generation XXL by the media - are being given 'Big Diet Passes' by the country's 22,000 chemists. The Passes entitle them to free health advice, and each Pass will be entered in a Big Diet lottery, with the winner getting the chance to appear in the final programme.

Q. Is the idea popular with the Germans
A.
Yes, almost 8,000 people applied to be contestants. However, doctors and weight-loss experts are not so keen, claiming that it's purely voyeurism and that crash diets are extremely dangerous.

Q. Where will it all end
A.
German media experts think that The Big Diet is bound to be a success, and that reality shows have no limit - some expect to see reality combat TV and mating shows within a decade. But one country is putting up a fight against reality TV.

Q. Oh Which one
A.
Greece - journalists there want to stop the Greek version of Big Brother from ever being shown on the country's private Antenna network, due to go on air shortly, claiming that this kind of show is an insult to human rights and civilisation.

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By Sheena Miller

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