Have you heard of HBO’s latest documentary series?
The Weight of the Nation is a four-part series tackling the topic of obesity in America. The four films touch on how and why obesity has become such an issue in the country, the impact on future generations, and also speculates how we may go about creating change.
I found it frustrating and hopeful, all at the same time.
Some of the points that I found particularly interesting:
- Many popular diets emphasize fast, dramatic weight-loss results, but rarely focus on the bigger challenge–> creating lasting lifestyle change that will ensure weight maintenance in the future. As a result, many of us have no idea how to feed ourselves on a consistent basis, without being “on” or “off” a diet.
- Television shows like “The Biggest Loser” lead us to believe that exercise is the best solution for weight loss. However, both diet and exercise are critically important for lasting results. (And in my personal opinion, a healthy diet is essential!)
- Sugar-sweetened beverages, including juice drinks, account for more added sugar in children’s daily diets than any other food. Simply limiting or eliminating these beverages is a step in the right direction.
- Our bodies have adapted to deal with food scarcity over tens of thousands of years, but our biology still hasn’t caught up to the over-abundance of cheap, sugar-laden food facing us today. Unfortunately, that often leads to over-eating processed foods that aren’t even fit for human consumption– simply because we’re built to eat while we can for self-preservation!
- Though it may seem like a “good deal” to consume inexpensive food now, it could be quite expensive in the long-term–> including future health care costs associated with heart disease, diabetes, and more.
This is a HUGE topic, so I feel like we’re just scratching the surface, but I’m glad the discussion is getting started!
Even if you don’t have HBO, you can watch the films for FREE here!
Reader Feedback: Did you see this documentary? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic of obesity, and what steps you’d take to help tackle it! Personally, I’d love to see some policy changes regarding government subsidies, to make organic fruits and veggies more affordable (I know I’m probably dreaming here…), better nutrition education for doctors and patients alike, and I’d love to see further changes in the school gym and lunch programs, since habits are learned at a young age!