Healthy v sedentary lifestyles put on the spot

The contrasting lifestyle of two Scots is put in focus this weekend, showing the difference between sedentary and healthy living.

While the damage is devastating it’s never too late to make a change – and a new TV series sets out to prove it.

Laid Bare is a new three-part series from BBC Scotland, introducing new ‘doc on the box’ Dr Punam Krishan, who each week takes two volunteers through their paces to find out their crucial health ‘achilles’ heel and determine a programme to see if their health issue can be turned around.

Each week two people with very different lifestyles are subjected to a full Health MOT; blood tests, urine analysis, fitness tests and lifestyle diaries are collated together to build up a picture of their health from ‘the inside out’…

Each volunteer is then ‘Laid Bare’ on a slab, effectively having a ‘living post-mortem’, and Dr Punam Krishan reveals the damage that they are doing to themselves – now and in the future. A team of medics then give them a tailored health plan to turn things around.

But the question is can they stick to the programme, and will they improve their health before they are retested eight weeks later?

In this third and last episode of the focus is on Ryan O’Connor of Airdrie – who loves soft drinks and takeaways – and Marie Ladbrook, a super-active mum of two from Montrose.

At the outset of the episode Ryan spends up to 15 hours a day sat in front a computer screen, guzzles up to four litres of soft drinks a day, and frequently eats takeaways. Despite being healthy as a teenager, after a couple of years working at his computer desk he put on around four stones. He does little to no physical activity; unlike Marie.

Marie is constantly on the go. When she’s not busy dealing with her kids she’s a keen fitness buff, and in between cardio workouts and lifting weights, she runs the kids to school on their buggy. Despite looking great on the outside, Marie’s lifestyle is a bit chaotic, and her sleep is terrible; perhaps not surprising given she regularly drinks over 10 cups of a coffee a day…

Ryan and Marie are confronted with how their lifestyles are having an impact on their health – now and in the future. Ryan’s told he has an estimated 61% risk of becoming diabetic, and Marie’s told that the stress she’s putting g on her body are storing up problems for her future. After the shock of receiving the news, each is given a health plan that is tailored to their specific needs; for Ryan, it’s more movement and less sugary drinks – for Marie, it’s less caffeine and a bit of wind-down time.

When Ryan is tempted by sugary drinks, he’s reminded of his fear about becoming one of the UK’s 3.5m diabetics. And Marie gets some advice from a top sleep expert in how she can improve her zzzz’s. In addition to following Ryan and Marie, Laid Bare meets up with experts who give general advice on how to improve health that we can all learn from.

After weeks of ups and downs, Ryan and Marie repeat the tests and are ‘Laid Bare’ one more time to see if they have done enough to turn their health prospects around.

Ryan said: ‘It was a good thing to be part of,’ and Marie added: ‘It is good that the series isn’t a stereotypical health series but shows you people who would appear to be healthy and finds out what is really going on.’

Laid Bare’s final episode will be shown this Thursday, 7 November, on BBC One Scotland from 9-10pm.