When we interviewed Freaky Eaters' nutritionist JJ Virgin at the start of the show's second season, she told us, "People tune in for the freak factor." If you want to know what she means, look no further than the video below that TLC put together in advance of Sunday's two-part season finale (airing at 10/9c). It's a corn-starch chewing, maple syrup-dousing, food-regurgitating orgasm of tartar sauce. Or something...
TLC's Freaky Eaters returns Sunday (at 10/9c) focusing on its freakiest eater yet: Nikki Myles, who consumes 3,000 calories' worth of cornstarch a day, going to extremes to hide it from her family (she keeps a spare bag right next to the spare tire in her trunk!). Returning for Season 2, Dr. Mike Dow and nutritionist JJ Virgin attempt to get Nikki off cornstarch for good by giving her a crash course in treatment that includes confronting her with a giant, dumped bag of cornstarch to represent the volume that she's consumed over the course of six months.
While the freak-show factor runs high (check the show's title!) and the shock-treatment stuff is outlandish, what makes Freaky Eaters rewarding is the humanity at its heart...
Whether they shoot heroin, compulsively tan or sleep with a hair dryer on the bed, loving someone with an addiction is a 24-hour challenge. So we asked My Strange Addiction's specialist (and Freaky Eaters counselor) Dr. Mike Dow for tips on being part of the solution instead of the problem.
What do you get when you mix Intervention, Hoarders, and a whole lot of food? TLC's Freaky Eaters. "It definitely has elements of both shows — the premise of Intervention and the obsessive-compulsion of Hoarders," co-host and psychotherapist Dr. Mike Dow tells TVGuide.com of the new TLC series. "But [those shows] explore well-known addictions and disorders. I think people will be surprised and moved to learn about food addiction, which is not as front-and-center, but affects so many people." The docu-series profiles people with bizarre obsessions with a certain food, compelling them to eat it over and over again. Dow, who treats the eaters with nutrition and wellness expert JJ Virgin, says more people than you might expect can relate to the compulsion.
TVGuide.com: "Freaky eaters" makes for a catchy show name, but is there an actual medical term for people with the compulsion to eat the same food?
Mike Dow: You know ...