Weight of the Nation

July 15, 2012

I heard a lot of buzz about the HBO mini-series Weight of the Nation and decided to watch it.  So far I’ve seen the first two parts and it has been  eye opening and makes me really want to be a part of the obesity solution in the best way that I can.  These are the main ideas that I took away from this documentary:

  1. Childhood obesity is a MAJOR problem in the United States.  About 18% of our children are obese and 77% of those children will remain obese into adulthood.   The famous Bogalusa Heart Study (started in 1972) indicates that heart disease begins in childhood.
  2. There are 7 criteria for ideal cardiovascular health, yet less than 1% of Americans meet this criteria:
    1. Normal blood pressure
    2. No diabetes
    3. Healthy diet
    4. Physical activity
    5. Lean BMI (not overweight or obese)
    6. Normal cholesterol
    7. No smoking
  3. It takes being just a little bit overweight to start diabetes and other weight related illnesses.  You do not have to be morbidly obese to experience increase risk.
  4. Obesity and weight related illness is harming our competitive position in the world.  An obese person costs $1,400 more per year to medically treat compared to a non-obese person and a diabetic person costs $6,600 more per year to treat.
  5. If you “go with the flow” you will be overweight as 2/3 of people are.  Choices you can make today to improve your health are:
    1. Seek support from those who can relate
    2. Keep portions under control
    3. Track your calories
    4. Plan & structure your meals
    5. Set realistic goals
    6. Always make physical activity a part of your life
    7. The single best thing you can do is to stop drinking sugared beverages
    8. Getting eating under control will help you lose weight; exercise is the #1 predictor that someone will or will not keep their weight loss off.

The material presented in this documentary was shocking to me.  I never knew that such a small amount of excess weight can have a devastating effect on a person’s health.  I committed more than ever to help everyone achieve improved health.  If you or anyone you know is interested in taking this important step – please reach out to me.  Hbigelow01@yahoo.com.