The BBC’s controversial programme The Restaurant That Burns Calories has been hit with more than 1,200 complaints from viewers.
The BBC2 one-off, fronted by Fred Sirieix and Dr Zoe Williams, sparked uproar after it showed 20 unsuspecting diners being hosted for a slap-up meal before revealing there was an on-site gym where a group of fitness fanatics were poised ready to burn off every single calorie ordered and consumed by the diners.
The hour-long episode was based on the latest scientific research, which suggests that when we are shown the astonishing amount of exercise required to remove excess calories from our bodies, we choose to eat up to 20% less.
Since the programme aired, the BBC has confirmed that they received 1,216 complaints.
The complaints were on the grounds that viewers ‘felt the programme presented an unhealthy approach to food and calorie intake’.
It also comes after a professor, who was asked to take part in the BBC show, alleged that some of his expert views got axed from the final edit.The show sparked over 1,200 complaints (Picture: BBC/Voltage TV)
Speaking to Metro.co.uk he told us: ‘The BBC approached me and they told me they were making a program about calories and that there’s going to be three experts giving different views and they wanted me to talk about my research into gut microbes.
‘I said I don’t believe in calorie counting and I don’t believe calories in equals calories out and I don’t think that exercise is a good way to maintain weight.’Professor Spector claimed the show axed some of his comments (Picture: BBC)
He continued: ‘They didn’t show my views and I didn’t know they would be leading with this sort of calories in and calories out message as the overall content, I thought there were going to do a critical look at calories, with some differences of opinion.’
Professor Spector, who works for Kings College London, went on to add the idea of the show doesn’t work because counting calories is ‘not a good way of losing weight’.
The researchers accusations come after many viewers, including charity Beat, argued that the show was triggering to people with eating disorders.
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Responding to Professor Spector’s claims, the BBC told Metro.co.uk: ‘Through conversations and email exchanges with the production team, we believe that Professor Tim Spector did understand the premise of the programme before he took part and was aware of its title.
‘The sequence in which Professor Spector appeared was about his study exploring the gut microbiome and its effect on weight, and therefore his comments about calories and exercise were not included.’
The Restaurant That Burns Calories is available to stream on BBC iPlayer.
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