Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health

“The Weight of the Nation’ – Is It Too Little, Too Late?

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Obesity Campaign Poster

Obesity Campaign Poster (Photo credit: Pressbound)

“The Weight of the Nation” will be presented by HBO in a four-hour, four-part documentary to address the issue of the rising obesity rates that we face now and estimated to grow even larger as the estimated percent of obesity in the U, S may reach 42% by 2030.

This series is brought about by the Centers for Disease Prevention (CDC), HBO, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Kaiser Permanente, and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. Their blog states:   “ Transforming the lives of children living in urban poverty through better health and education.”

It will air Monday and Tuesday, May 14 and 15.  Also to reach a wider audience, HBO will provide free online access at

Although not aired yet, some of the segments will feature:

  • How hard it is to lose weight since the body fights weight loss.
  • How health insurance agencies must pay doctors for prevention measures instead of only treating obesity-related illnesses after the fact
  • Helping people to become aware that a weight loss of only 5-10% of their body weight can make a real difference to offset the unhealthy consequences of obesity.
  • Those years of telling people to eat less and move more have had little effect
  • Policies that address the environmental issues that contribute to obesity instead placing the blame on individuals themselves. They recommend changing zoning laws like increasing walkable areas (more sidewalks?)
  • That Government subsidies of wheat, corn and cotton prevent farmers from planting fruits and vegetables.
  • That taxing sugar-sweetened vegetables and limiting the marketing of junk foods aimed at children may be helpful.

It may be a beginning on how to solve this problem and time will tell how effective this report is in changing the ways of our food culture.  It’s interesting to note the different approaches from the U.S. government (see above) and the French approach, i.e., eat whole foods, learn to cook, teach children about the pleasures of food, and practice simple changes to prevent obesity rather treat it after it occurs.

Bon appétit.

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