Fat Men Can’t Hunt

Fat Men Can’t Hunt
Thursday 27 December, 9.30pm

In TV2’s brand-new series Fat Men Can’t Hunt, eight western couch potatoes, all of them obese, face the biggest challenge of their lives: to live with a remote bush tribe in Africa.

This is a radical TV experiment, with dieting like you’ve never seen it before. The British men and women taking part in the challenge are all clinically or morbidly obese, with dysfunctional relationships to food and where it comes from. All self-confessed fast food addicts, they have volunteered to spend three weeks with the Ju’/Hoansi people in the remote bush of the Kalahari desert in Namibia.
Here they must adopt the traditional nutritional lifestyle of their Bushmen hosts, eating only what they learn to pick, catch, trap or kill for themselves. In doing so they explore the relationship between food and effort, and, crucially, discover the potentially fatal dependency they have on the flavours of western junk food.

Ten Ju’/Hoansi tribes-people agreed to teach their traditional skills to the big Brits, imparting a way of life that’s been followed in the Kalahari for twenty-five thousand years. The contestants will integrate into tribal life and learn how to build their own straw huts, make fires, gather food, hunt and cook roots, nuts and hopefully animals.

For the peaceable, egalitarian Ju’/Hoansi, the Brits’ initial inability to knuckle down to the demands of the bush is a source of entertainment and incomprehension in equal measure. As the experiment unfolds, polite bafflement turns to deeply felt offence when some of the Brits start to question the validity of the Ju’/Hoansi way of life.

How will the contestants cope in the desert? They might be hungry, but their diet should be good for them. The traditional hunter-gatherer diet is one many believe to be nutritionally perfect. Food that is less processed has a healthier balance of protein to sugar and carbohydrates, and contains less fat.

The effort of hunting food each day should be a lot more exercise than our overweight contestants are used to. They’ll quickly be burning off more calories than they consume each day. Mentally they’ll be straining from sugar, caffeine and nicotine withdrawal as their bodies’ undertake a complete detox. Will they relish their new-found back-to-basics lifestyle, or will it all prove too much for them?

Can these Brits become lean, mean, killing machines or will they find out that Fat Men Can’t Hunt? Watch TV2, Thursday 27 December, 9.30pm.