The Weight of the Nation: Parts 1 & 2

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May 15, 2012 by Danielle

As you saw last night, I watched parts one and two of “The Weight of the Nation” and now I’m back this morning to share a few takeaways I learned from the film.

If would like to watch either of the films, click the video links below to view the official films.

Part One: Consequences

The first episode in this four part series provided a comprehensive overview of the state of obesity in America. This film covered the rise of obesity over the past twenty years and the environmental factors that have greatly contributed to the obesity problem, including increased serving sizes, lack of physical activity and lack of access to healthy foods.

This portion of the documentary shared a fair amount of statistics, but here are a few that stood out the most to me-

  • Among children born after the year 2000….
    • 1 out of 3 children will have diabetes
    • 1 out of 2 minority children will have diabetes.
    • Could be the first generation of children in recent history to die before their parents due to obesity related health issues.
I think the directors did a great job fitting a large amount of information into an hour long segment-so much information that I’ll have to go back and watch this part again.

Part Two: Choices

The second episode examined the human side of the obesity epidemic by interviewing people from all walks of life who have dealt with being overweight.  As someone who always loves diving into the human element of scientific documentaries, I found the second installment of the series more interesting than the first. Each interview focused on  the challenges that come with being overweight-from the successes and failures of weight loss to the complications that can arise from being overweight. I thought the directors did a great job putting a human face on obesity problem and more importantly, making it clear that overcoming obesity is very challenging. There were moments where I wanted to cry and moments where I wanted to jump up and cheer .

In addition, I think that the second installment provided very simple, yet practical weight loss and lifestyle tips that viewers can easily implement to live healthier lives. The piece covers tactics such as the practice of mindful eating, moving more and eliminating sugary drinks from your diet.

Watching parts one and two provided me with A LOT of information on obesity in America, but the most prevalent message that came across to me was that obesity shouldn’t be viewed as a personal problem, but as a societal problem that everyone can help solve.

Parts three and four air tonight at 8 p.m. and online on the official HBO website. If you watched last night, what did you learn about obesity in America?


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