HBO Challenges “The Weight of the Nation”

You’ve certainly
heard it before: obesity rates in America are reaching epidemic levels. Obesity
is regarded by many as America’s biggest health risk and to bring attention to
just how dangerous the disease has become, HBO launched a four part mini-series
entitled The Weight of the Nation which ran in 2012. This documentary explored
the preventable problem and asked the question, “How fat are we?” The
answer may surprise you…

research indicated that more than two-thirds of adults were overweight and half
of those were obese, while one-third of our children and adolescents were

However, we have an update! Based on information published in June, 2015 from
the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted by the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention, 67.6 million Americans were obese
and 65.2 million were overweight as of 2012. Obesity is defined by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as having a body mass index of 30 or
higher while overweight is defined as having a body mass index of 25-29.9.

This is a first for Americans; those who are obese outnumber those who are

Children twelve and under are the first generation in our nation’s history
to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. The most frustrating
thing is that it is so easily prevented. So how has this problem spiraled so
out of control? There are plenty of usual suspects – our multi-billion dollar
fast food industry, processed foods designed for shelf-life, and even
children’s school lunches.

nationwide problem began the same way it does for so many of us; a gradual
progression that is echoed by a subject in Part 1 of the documentary. “I
remember telling myself this is the heaviest I will ever be, and that was 20
pounds ago.” This perpetuating mentality has befallen all of us at some
time or another. Whether it’s time to clean out overflowing closets or shed
that 10 to 15 pounds you put on over the winter, we tell ourselves, “I’ll
start Monday! Tuesday… Wednesday? Well… the weekend is right around the corner,
I’ll start next Monday…”

come to this: To win, we have to lose. And we need to start now.