RTE and Ray D’Arcy forced to defend Operation Transformation after health expert criticises show

The former Irish Health service official slammed the weigh loss programme on Ray D'Arcy's radio show.

He had to defend to show his radio programme partners with live on air.
He had to defend the show his radio programme partners with live on air.

RTE and Ray D’Arcy have been forced to defend Operation Transformation, after the show was slated by health expert Jacky Jones on Ray D’Arcy’s radio show.

The RTE show, which follows five ‘leaders’ as they attempt to loose weight and reshape their lives under the guidance of health and fitness experts, has failed to impress the former Irish Health service official, as she doesn’t believe it’s had any impact on the obesity problem in Ireland.

Jacky also went on to say she used to think it was purely an entertainment show, but now she thinks it’s lost the entertainment factor.

Ray D’Arcy, whose show is the official radio partner to Operation Transformation, defended the programme, saying the show never claimed to tackle the nation’s obesity crisis on its own.

“I don’t think Operation Transformation would ever claim that it’s fighting obesity on its own, it’s part of a bigger picture and isn’t something better than nothing?” he said.

Jacky responded saying she thinks the food and exercise plans are too specific to each the individual leaders to be effective for the nation, and made the point that obesity in Ireland has grown since the show first aired ten years ago.

“I wouldn’t think so.” she said.

“If the focus is on individuals and if all of the people out there who have weight problems at the moment, if they were all given the support of four health professionals for seven weeks or whatever it is, eight weeks, they would be able to change too. The focus is on the individual instead of the whole population.

“Since Operation Transformation started, which was about 10 years ago, obesity has probably doubled, I’d say…maybe not doubled, that’s an exaggeration.”

This Year's Operation Transformation leaders.
This Year’s Operation Transformation leaders.

A spokeswoman from RTE responded to Jacky’s criticisms saying, “The series does not promise to transform peoples’ lives in a few weeks. Rather, the series is a launch pad to encourage people to get healthier and change their attitudes towards food, lifestyle and self-esteem.

“Safefood – the sponsor for the series – conducted research and found that in 2016, over 280,000 people reported losing weight as a result of following OT with a third of those reporting losing between 6 and 12 pounds.”



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