The Weight Of The Nation: New HBO Documentary Tackles Nationwide Obesity

woman standing on a scale
Vivia Armstrong was obese at the age of 10. By the time she reached her teens, she tipped the scales at more than 200 pounds. Today, the Atlanta-based marketing consultant is considered morbidly obese according to clinical standards.

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“Being overweight or obese is all I have ever known,” says 28-year-old Armstrong. “I can’t relate to people who used to be thin.”

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Armstrong is just one of millions of Americans who are classified as overweight, obese, severely obese, morbidly obese or super obese. The magnitude of the obesity situation in this country was the impetus behind HBO joining forces with the nation’s leading medical institutions, to make the four-part documentary, The Weight of the Nation, which premieres on May 14.

The film offers an uncompromising look at the severity of the obesity crisis and the driving forces behind the problem.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (2012) about 69 percent of U.S. adults fall into these categories. The situation is getting worse. So much so that health practitioners are talking about an obesity epidemic at catastrophic levels, which could potentially threaten the health, welfare and future of the United States.

“The sole purpose is to sound a very loud alarm that the issue of obesity has to become a top priority in this country” says John Hoffman, executive producer of the project, which was three years in the making.

“The health of our country is compromised if two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese,” adds Hoffman. “Our future is weakened if one-third of our kids are obese and our healthcare system will be on the verge of bankruptcy if things don’t change.”

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