The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that if nothing is done to reverse the nation's current obesity trends, 42 percent of Americans could be obese by 2030. With the obesity current rate at 36 percent, the nation would add 32 million obese people in less than two decades. Sleep apnea, heart disease, diabetes and countless other debilitating and chronic health problems linked to obesity would devastate the national health and cost the health care system an estimated $550 billion.
A new public health campaign promises to be the first shot in the national battle against obesity. Next week, HBO will premier "The Weight of the Nation", a four-hour, four-part documentary in conjunction with the CDC's conference of the same name. The campaign is a co-effort by HBO and the Institute of Medicine, with support from the CDC, the National Institutes of Health, Kaiser Permanente and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation.
The documentary, which will be available for free online, will educate Americans on the science of obesity, the consequences of being overweight and social and economic factors that contribute to obesity. The program also promises to present solutions for individual weight loss and healthier lifestyles.
In advance of the premier of the documentary, HBO has launched an educational website as a companion piece. The website, which is rather excellent, provides easy to disseminate information on obesity, including definitions, infographics and plans of action to lead a healthier lifestyle.
Parts 1 & 2 of the "Weight of the Nation" will air on Monday, May 14 at 7 p.m. CST. The second half of the series will air the same time on the following night, Tuesday, May 15. The entire series will be available on-demand on the network's HBO GO Platform and for free on theweightofthenation.hbo.com starting on May 14.