The Truth About

The Truth About Calories

Series 1 - Episode 2 The Truth About Calories



The good news is that Chris van Tulleken’s programme is full of tasty facts about food – for instance, that rare steak is less calorific than when it’s well done. The bad news is that learning the lessons involves an hour spent looking at close-ups of cakes, pizza, chips and so on – which may have the opposite of the desired effect.

The always engaging Van Tulleken puts food package labels to the test (many are ten per cent out either way), visits a ready-meal factory (oddly mesmerising) and creates a tortilla chip inferno. But the titbit you take away with you is that moderate continuous activity – such as a morning’s housework – can burn more calories than a knackering session at the gym, though it won’t make you as fit.


In the second documentary on health issues, Chris van Tulleken runs a series of experiments to get to the bottom of calories. He tests the real calorie content of randomly selected supermarket foods - finding that the labels aren't always accurate - and examines the best way to burn them off. For this he gets three families to engage in different activities after a big fry-up - from a tough workout at the gym to relaxing on the sofa. He also reveals a few kitchen secrets, managing to strip 360 calories out of steak, chips and a cream pudding without changing a single ingredient.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Chris van Tulleken
Director Dick Taylor
Executive Producer Jacqueline Smith
Producer Dick Taylor