The Weight of the Nation.

HBO recently came out with an interesting TV special/movement in an effort to raise awareness about the ever increasing health problems directly related to poor eating habits, lack of physical activity, and obesity.  The four-part documentary series, each feature “case studies, interviews with our nation’s leading experts, and individuals and their families struggling with obesity.” (source)

If you haven’t seen the film, check it out!! The Weight of the Nation!!! (Just click on the link!)

Even though I am very conscious of the weight problem that seems to be engulfing our country, I don’t think most Americans are (either that or they don’t care).  I personally thought HBO did an excellent job at portraying what a SERIOUS issue obesity really is and I was shocked by many of the statistics. HBO does not glaze over any of the real issues causing obesity; the invasion of too many processed foods, the infiltration of too many sedentary activities (video-games, computers, TV, etc), and our environment. 

One of the main concerns addressed in the documentary is childhood obesity. Childhood obesity is something for which I’ve always been passionate about, seeing as how our children are our future and a direct result of the environment surrounding them. In the film, it states that this is the first generation of children who won’t be out-living their parents. Scary. No?

It’s time for our Nation to make a change and this documentary is a step in the right direction. Schools need to offer longer lunch periods, better quality foods, and more time for recess. The work environment needs to encourage physical activity, provide employees with healthy food options, and nutrition education.

We need to come together as a society and put a halt to the ever-growing obesity “epidemic.” We need to stop putting all our focus on things that don’t matter and start taking time for ourselves. Take care of your body and it will take care of you.  If mainstream food companies start to see the public looking for MORE whole foods, they may start making a change! If the government sees a NEED for more sidewalks, parks, and playgrounds, they just might do something about it! If there is a strong NEED to get healthy, our society will (eventually) accommodate.

In the meantime, help set the example!!! BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS! (Isn’t that how the famous saying goes?)


  • Always take the stairs.
  • Go for walks on your lunch break.
  • Hit the gym after work.
  • Form an after-work exercise group.
  • Work in the yard when you come home!
  • Make time for the grocery store!
  • Cook from home!!
  • Shop the perimeter of the grocery store.
  • Bring healthier foods to potlucks and parties.
  • Pack your child’s lunch with fruits and veggies!!
  • Inform your children about healthy eating and if you don’t know yourself? Get help!
  • Limit sedentary activities to <1-2 hours per day, particularly for children!
Do you have anything to add to the list? How have you tried making a change? Have you seen HBO’s new documentary? What are your thoughts?





12 comments to The Weight of the Nation.

  • Elisa

    Thanks for sharing. Didn’t know about this one.

    Love your blog and all your content and your two cents commentary. Thanks for putting together thoughtful, encouraging, and honest posts. I rarely comment, but just had to let ya know that someone in Minnesota enjoys your blog.

  • Amen! I wish I had a job that would let me be less sedentary. I do get up and walk every hour though! I’v heard great things about this documentary. I want to watch it asap! Thanks for sharing, love!

  • Whcf

    I too was surprised to see the documentary available online for free. It was very helpful to me. In the past few months I’ve always watched “Forks Over Knives” and “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” (I wonder who comes up with these titles???) As a result we are changing how we think about the “Standard American Diet” (S.A.D.) and eating a whole lot more fruits and veggies. Since mid-Feb I’ve been dropping a pound each week and the amazing aspect is I am full and satisfied all the time. No more roaming the kitchen to just see what’s there. It seems to me that when my nutritional needs are met, my cravings go away.

    p.s. here’s a link…

  • I’ve watched bits and pieces of the documentary, and shared some parts with my weight loss class (specifically the chapter on fad diets, chapter 3). It’s really eye-opening.
    I love your list, but I will add that shopping the perimeter is no longer something I teach clients. Imagine all the crap that is around the perimiter; donuts, sweetened yogurts, processed meats…it’s just as bad as the aisles in some cases! Plus, there are so many great things that can be found in the aisles (brown rice and quinoa, one to two ingredient cereals, peanut butters with JUST peanuts….the list goes on!).

  • Sara

    I had heard about this documentary and was sad that I didn’t have HBO to watch it. Thanks for sharing the link! I didn’t even think it might be online!

  • We don’t have HBO but I need to check this out because I love any kind of documentary that has to do with America getting healthier!

  • I’ll have to check out this film, I haven’t heard of it. It is such a complex issue – I’ve worked mainly with children who are overweight and there is no simple solution but I agree that moving more and eating better is a step in the right direction!

  • Meg

    Wow. What really hit me was when they said this generation may have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. SAD. I’m definitely going to watch the rest of it.

    I think I’m a little unaware growing up in a healthy family and now being surrounded by friends that mostly eat healthy (not all, but most) and living in Idaho which is a fairly active/healthy state. I definitely don’t see a lot of the overweight/obesity but I still do see some. What kills me the most is the overweight kids! That just seems so unfair for them never even have a chance at life.. getting picked on, not learning healthy eating habits, having poor self confidence. There are enough things a kid faces already.

    Thanks for sharing the awareness!

  • Checking out this docu… sounds like something worth watching!

  • I haven’t seen the documentary, but you’re making me want to watch it! I think the key message of personal accountability is SO important. There was a blog post that went vaguely viral written by a man who was pissed at marketing companies and food companies for leading America into eating the way they do, as well as at Americans for making the food choices that they make. The comments had an interesting discussion about whose responsibility it really is to make sure people eat well. While I think marketing companies are really deceptive and food companies couldnt be father from having people’s best interests at heart, it ultimately comes down to the individual. We have to take the steps in the right direction and the societal approach to eating will change as individuals do!

  • I do almost all of those tips to be healthier!

  • Gen

    That documentary sounds really interesting….I’ll have to check it out!

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