Man v Food is a television show that first aired in America at the end of 2008. It’s a food reality series that follows Adam Richman, a guy with a self-professed “serious appetite” around the United States as he gorges on some of the most calorific and ridiculously-portioned food in the world.
Throughout the 85 episodes that have aired since the show started, some of the challenges Adam Richman has attempted to complete include: eating a 2kg steak; a 7.5lb hamburger; 5 24oz milkshakes; 17 hotdogs; 2 gallons of ice cream; a 10 course meal and 10 grilled cheese sandwiches with toppings – some of which have time limits attached.
Whenever I watch this show on Dave, chances are I’m lazing out on a Wednesday afternoon. Considering I’m quite a healthy and active person, for some reason, I find it difficult to take my eyes away from the screen. I do not enjoy, at all, watching the overweight and certainly unhealthy Adam Richman stuff his face with thousands of calories and celebrate like it’s some sort of triumph. With an obesity problem to rival any other in the USA, where over one third of all adults are obese, it makes me feel a bit sick to witness this celebration of such an unhealthy and indulgent approach to food. Man v Food? Since when did it become a conflict to be overcome, where the only prize is obesity?
Is Adam Richman’s Man v Food entertaining?
I don’t know whether I would call it entertaining, seeing as I feel nauseous the minute the theme tune starts playing, but it has often had my attention, and my criticism. Considering the lack of any informative, interesting facts about the science of cooking, all it means is that I can feel myself join the masses of people who are collectively losing brain cells as the minutes go by. How anybody can condone staring at a fat man pigging out on four people’s worth of food in one sitting and call it entertainment is beyond me.
From what I’ve found about Adam Richman, his secret to “keep from gaining weight” (debatable) is to become vegetarian when the show is not filming, as well as working out with a personal trainer and exercising regularly. I’m not convinced that 20 minutes on the treadmill and a few mushrooms will eradicate the effects of an 11lb pizza stuffed with all the types of deep fried meat and cheese under the sun… but that’s just me.
This show needs to wake up. Adam Richman needs to wake up. The people who allow this show to have airtime need to wake up. In a world where we’re always in pursuit of national health and wellbeing, airing a show that allows a man to eat what is undoubtedly a week’s worth of calories in one day seems backward. On another note; what if it was to be Woman v Food? Do you think people would be half as entertained, watching an obese woman sing the praises of a fried potato cake smothered in hot sauce and topped with cheese, sausage and mayonnaisey coleslaw? Probably not, in fact I imagine they would have quite a lot to say about it.
There’s something seriously wrong with firstly; allowing someone to promote their love for a vile and unhealthy lifestyle on international television and secondly; society’s acceptance of this because he’s a funny bloke. This show just seems to be demonstrating everything that’s wrong with our attitudes towards food in the Western world. Not once on the show have I heard anything about the importance of an active and healthy lifestyle, 5-a-day may as well apply to the amount of meals he recommends and there is a severe lack of a disclaimer to say to the potentially moronic audience; don’t try this at home. But that’s obvious, right?
Wrong. Thinking about the kinds of people that watch this show, if they’re young and impressionable, or maybe one sandwich short of a picnic (or should I say three sandwiches too many), chances are they’d love to go and see how much they can eat in half an hour before spending the evening crashed out on the sofa feeling sluggish. Restaurants, before long, will undoubtedly get wind of Adam Richman’s ridiculous idea and start creating their own food “challenges” and that would be disastrous. Stop promoting diseases of affluence. Just stop it. People in Third World countries don’t even have enough food for one day, and yet somehow it’s acceptable for First World inhabitants to waste food and gorge themselves into a life of high blood pressure, obesity and heart attacks. Something is wrong.
This is in the interest of national health. Stop whinging about the pressure on the NHS for diseases resulting from luxurious lifestyles and then allowing short-minded shows from the US to plague our country with their ideas of what classifies good food. If we are trying to reduce the amount of cases of obesity and get our country back into shape, take out of our children’s heads the thought that huge portions of fatty food is the way to go, and show them an apple. Show them how to peel a carrot and make a vegetable soup. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to promote any request for censorship here, simply trying to take away any niggling voices in the back of the minds of the impressionables in our country that say it’s a good idea to idolise Adam Richman. He is, without a doubt, one of the world’s worst role models.
Entertaining or not, Man v Food is disgusting and dangerous as is its star Adam Richman. America, you can keep your backwards, unhealthy and indulgent TV shows; Jamie Oliver is just one example of someone who has spent years trying to make a difference in the way we eat as a country and Adam Richman is on his way to undermine all of that. Don’t expect obesity levels to decrease in any country if you’re giving shows such as this one airtime. We’re living in a contradiction and it’s time that changed.