Confronting America's Obesity Epidemic in Our Local Communities
About the Project
Bringing together the nation’s leading research institutions, THE WEIGHT OF THE NATION is a presentation of HBO and the Institute of Medicine (IOM), in association with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and in partnership with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and Kaiser Permanente.
The centerpiece of THE WEIGHT OF THE NATION campaign is the four-part documentary series, each featuring case studies, interviews with our nation’s leading experts, and individuals and their families struggling with obesity. The first film, CONSEQUENCES, examines the scope of the obesity epidemic and explores the serious health consequences of being overweight or obese. The second, CHOICES, offers viewers the skinny on fat, revealing what science has shown about how to lose weight, maintain weight loss and prevent weight gain. The third, CHILDREN IN CRISIS, documents the damage obesity is doing to our nation’s children. Through individual stories, this film describes how the strong forces at work in our society are causing children to consume too many calories and expend too little energy; tackling subjects from school lunches to the decline of physical education, the demise of school recess and the marketing of unhealthy food to children. The fourth film, CHALLENGES, examines the major driving forces causing the obesity epidemic, including agriculture, economics, evolutionary biology, food marketing, racial and socioeconomic disparities, physical inactivity, American food culture, and the strong influence of the food and beverage industry.
The first film in 'The Weight of the Nation' series examines the scope of the obesity epidemic and explores the serious health consequences of being overweight or obese.
Part 2: Choices Watch Now
The second film in the series poses a question that almost anyone who’s struggled with excess weight has asked, if only in jest: For all the remarkable high-tech tools available to medicine, for all the billions of dollars in drug research, there’s still no highly effective medication to prevent or reverse obesity – why?
Part 3: Children in Crisis Watch Now
Childhood obesity is much more than a cosmetic concern. The health consequences of childhood obesity include greater risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma and other serious illnesses. The combination of these health effects and the dramatic increase in childhood obesity rates over the past three decades causes some experts to fear this may be the first generation of American children who will have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.
Part 4: Challenges Watch Now
Obesity is a very serious medical condition, no longer viewed as strictly an issue of cosmetics. It’s a contributing factor in the death and disability of too many of our neighbors, friends and family members, and its societal costs are astronomical. Although overall obesity prevalence rates appear to be leveling off, there are still far too many Americans who are overweight or obese - approximately one-third of adults are obese and another third are overweight.
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Peter H. Diamandis, M.D.
Dr. Peter H. Diamandis is the Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation, a non-profit focused on designing and launching large incentive prizes to drive radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. Best known for the $10,000,000 Ansari X PRIZE for private spaceflight, the Foundation is now launching prizes in four groups: Exploration, Life Sciences, Energy & Environment, and Education/Global Development. Today, the X PRIZE has three active prizes: The $10M Archon X PRIZE for Genomics, the $30M Google Lunar X PRIZE and the $10M Progressive Automotive X PRIZE. Diamandis is also international leader in the commercial space arena, having founded and run many of the leading entrepreneurial companies in this sector. Diamandis serves as co-Founder and Managing Director of Space Adventures, the only company to have brokered the launches of private citizens to the International Space Station. He is co-Founder and CEO of Zero Gravity Corporation, a commercial space company developing private, FAA-certified parabolic flight utilizing a Boeing 727-200 aircraft. In 2008, he co-founded the Singularity University, where he serves as Vice-Chancellor and Chairman. In 1987, Diamandis co-founded the International Space University and the Rocket Racing League where he served as the University’s first managing director. Prior to ISU, Diamandis served as Chairman of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) an organization he founded at MIT in 1980. Dr. Diamandis attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he received his undergraduate degree in molecular genetics and graduate degree in aerospace engineering. After MIT, he attended Harvard Medical School where he received his M.D.
His personal motto is: “The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself!”
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