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By Joe Lindley curated from -

HBO: The Weight of the Nation Films Part 1: Consequences

The first film in 'The Weight of the Nation' series examines the scope of the obesity epidemic and explores the serious health consequences of being overweight or obese.

The first character we meet is Cindy. Born and raised in Bogalusa, Louisiana, Cindy is the mother of two grown sons and now a proud grandmother. Cindy allowed HBO into her home and life to discuss some very painful things. Only 99 pounds when she got married, Cindy has struggled with her weight ever since her first pregnancy. And it's only gotten harder.

Health and behaviors in early childhood can have serious consequences later on in life. The Bogalusa Heart Study - of which Cindy was a participant - shows that overweight and obese children have risk factors for heart disease, even at a young age.

The obesity epidemic is a problem that's emerged over the last 30 years. It threatens our nation's social, economic and physical health. But, unlike a natural disaster, obesity is often preventable. Although overall obesity prevalence rates appear to be leveling off, there are still far too many Americans who are overweight or obese and who continue to develop health problems as a result. In order to end the epidemic, everyone must be part of the solution.

At the level of our DNA, we're programmed to eat as much as we can to survive and store the extra as fat for future energy use. In a world where calorie-dense, sugar-laden and fatty foods are available around every corner, that's a problem. The good news is that, even if the propensity to gain weight is written into our genes, we're not fated to a lifetime of fat.

In the first film of the HBO Weight of the Nation film series, the impacts of obesity and weight problems are examined.  It is a well-done documentary on the range of health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, shorter lifespan, and a host of other complications that arise from being heavy.  It is a surprising film and well worth your time.  It will get your attention and that is the clear purpose.  We just have to do something about this.  It can’t be ignored anymore.

The complete film can be viewed online here or directly below.

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