This week, HBO aired a four-part documentary titled “Weight of the Nation,”which confronts America’s obesity epidemic. It’s no secret that millions of our citizens are not only overweight, but considered obese or even morbidly obese. We know that we’re supposed to eat right and exercise, yet many of us don’t take the necessary steps to keep ourselves healthy. The docuseries was the wake-up call that many of us needed to hear and see in order to do something about it.
With the help of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, and Kaiser Permanente, Weight of the Nation featured case studies from people struggling with obesity and interviews from health professionals.
Part one, titled Consequences, focused on the consequences of being overweight or obese. Some of the consequences include a greater chance of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and many other problems we regularly hear about in the African American community. Choices was the title of part two, giving us options for losing weight, maintaining weight loss, and preventing weight gain. Part three was all about Children in Crisis, as our country has a scary number of young people who are classified as obese and are at-risk for a life riddled with health complications. The conclusion of Weight of the Nation was Challenges, which determines some of the reasons why our country is so obese: the food and beverage industries, food culture, agriculture, marketing and more.
Some of the alarming facts presented in the documentary included:
It’s great to see our First Lady, Michelle Obama, take action to help make our country healthier, but we also have to do our part. The first step is education and the next step is action. So many of us set goals to lose weight for the new year, but what is the true reason? Our community especially is known for applauding “thicker” bodies and we show our love via food that’s usually not healthy for us. It’s time to make a change.
If you’d like to view the docuseries in its entirety, it is available to view online. Let it spark a discussion not only here but in your household and workplace as well.