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PEO­PLE are pretty messed up. We all have some­thing about us that’s a bit kooky, a bit weird . . . I’m scared of birds, chick­ens in par­tic­u­lar.

I know, it’s strange, but hey, that’s the thing about pho­bias, they’re com­pletely il­log­i­cal. So, why do peo­ple over eat? Dr Tim says it’s be­cause they’re un­happy.

Ac­tu­ally it’s Dr Sharp, who works in the field of pos­i­tive psy­chol­ogy. In sim­ple terms, he thinks that by con­cen­trat­ing on get­ting peo­ple happy rather than fo­cus­ing on con­trol­ling what they eat, they’ll choose to be health­ier.

And the good new is, any­one can learn to be happy.

The in­trigu­ing part of this doco is that it cen­tres on five peo­ple with vary­ing food is­sues. They are put into a share house each week­end, and ev­ery­thing they eat is up to them.

Stay-at-home mum Cather­ine, is 154kg.

‘‘ I’m my hus­band and my daugh­ter and an an­i­mal,’’ she says of her weight with a sad laugh.

Mandy weighs just 42kg, her body mass in­dex is in the star­va­tion range.

‘‘ If I don’t start get­ting food into me . . . I’m go­ing to be thrown in hos­pi­tal,’’ she says.

Weighty is­sues: Dr Tim Sharp.

Chris is a binge eater tuck­ing into treats while in her car.

‘‘ I’ve let the in­ter­nal critic bash me up,’’ she says.

Ju­dith is a for­mer chef whose knees are so bad be­cause of her obe­sity, she’s been warned to call the am­bos rather than try to get up on her own if she falls over.

And then there’s Damien, who has had the same meal ev­ery night for 20 years — chicken curry and rice. Dr Tim calls it de­fen­sive pes­simism. This is gen­uinely mov­ing tele­vi­sion and it’s im­por­tant that it fea­tures peo­ple with dif­fer­ent food bat­tles.

‘‘ There’s no mir­a­cles, there’s no magic, there’s no se­crets. It’s just plain hard work,’’ Dr Tim says. HOUSE OF FOOD OB­SES­SIVES SBS, 8.30pm,

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