Weight of the Nation Cliff Notes

Last week HBO debuted Weight of the Nation, a four-part miniseries examining the obesity epidemic in the United States  .  It’s likely difficult for you to find the time, or desire, to watch a four-hour documentary.  Especially when you’re trying to Keep up with Kardashians.

But you wanna stay informed, right?  Of course you do.  So as a service, I’m here with the Cliff Notes®.  Now you can participate when the over-educated know-it-all brings it up at a party or BBQ.

Part One: Consequences

The first hour brings us the typical parade of depressing stats and doomsday predicting experts to underscore the seriousness of the problem.  It’s likely stuff you’ve already heard a few times.

More affecting was the detailed examination of what obesity does to our body.  Several organs and body systems are discussed, but nothing drives home the point more than the comparison of cadaver hearts from a healthy weight person and an obese individual (video).  Think “these are the lungs of a smoker…”

Part Two: Choices     

The second installment focuses on strategies to lose or control our weight.  It’s full of the typical, “eat less, move more” advice.  Although that advice is solid, the documentary did little to compare differing views regarding healthy diets.  (i.e. veganism, paleo, adkins).

I was also disappointed to not see an in-depth discussion on the affect our food industry has had on our skyrocketing obesity numbers.  Although, I suppose Food Inc. covered that pretty well.

The biggest lesson from Part Two was a discussion on the metabolic changes an obese body goes through.  Essentially, once obese, a body will treat any weight loss as a sign of starvation and fight to get the weight back.  It’s a fight that’s nearly impossible to win.  Science is trying to help though (video).

On Friday I’ll give the Cliff Notes for Parts 3 & 4.  I’ll also give my overall impression of the documentary.  As if you care….


One response to “Weight of the Nation Cliff Notes

  1. Pingback: Weight of Nation Cliff Notes #2 | Essentials of Nutrition

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