The Weight of the Nation - HBO series - WATCH THIS!

We talk a lot about food and what your are eating here at Nonchalant Mom, well I've been watching the new HBO documentary series "The Weight of the Nation" over the last few nights and I think it's something that every person should be seeing. It's a complete picture of where America is going if we keep up in the direction that we have been for the last 30 years. The Weight of the Nation is a 4-part series that encompasses the entire food-health-exercise-farming etc... state of our Nation and Americans. John Hoffman, Vice President of HBO documentary films was in NPR last week and summed up each part as this:

Part one is called "Consequences," and it outlines for the viewer the health effects on the body and talking about changes in - to the internal organs when you're carrying too much fat around the middle, changes in metabolism. It's the liver fat that we discussed earlier [it is explained how fat is stored in your liver which is a major problem of the current health of Americans]. And it talks about the extent of the problem in the population.

Part two is "Choices," and it really highlights the most evidence-based science about what we know about achieving weight loss, and more importantly, sustaining that weight loss. Ninety-five to 98 percent of the population regains the weight they've lost within five years. But when you have a population as large as we have that has lost weight, then even that 5 percent is a large number of people. And those people have been studied, and we know what they do to sustain that weight loss. And those messages are in the part two, "Challenges."

Part three is "Children in Crisis." It is a tremendous problem. Obviously we know there's a lot of focus on childhood obesity. But the social determinants of what is driving this increase in weight in children have to be discussed. It's the marketing of unhealthy food to children. It's the unhealthy food that's being served to them in schools. It's the lack of physical activity. Less than 2 percent of children in high schools get physical activity every day. Four percent of children in elementary schools get the physical activity recommendation, is an hour of vigorous activity every day.

Part four is called "Challenges," and it tries to look at, from a high altitude, about what are all the reasons that are driving this complex problem. And it then ends with, I think, some very inspiring stories of communities that are really now trying to recognize this and make the communities, national in particular, a healthier place to live.

(you can listen to or read the entire story on NPR if you click here - NPR's Science Friday with Ira Flatow May 11, 2012)

I had to watch part three a few times.. it's extremely moving and even if you are aware of what is going on as far as food and exercise in America you will still be surprised at what you hear. You just HEAR how some of these kids just don't know any better and it's just life to them to eat crappy food. And then in part four "Challenges" the figures are astonishing but NOT unreachable. It shows you how we all need to wake up and do our part, it's at our schools it's with our friends and it's what we need to do to share with people healthier living.

You can also share this series with your school this is truly a public health campaign. The have partners - Kaiser Permanente and Michael & Susan Dell Foundation - that enabled this to go from public education to public health. The entire series - 12 short films that go along with it, in English and in Spanish, are being distributed free of charge to 40,000 community-based organizations. This is an unprecedented level of grassroots distribution and organizing.

You can also go to HBO.com to watch the series

This is one of the most important films for your family to watch and it's a good thing to watch it together, you can answer your kids questions and they can learn about food, health, exercising and it will be interesting and exciting for them. You WATCH and see!

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