To win, we have to lose. So reads the slogan of "The Weight Of The Nation," the four-part documentary that premiered on HBO last night, and continues tonight at 8 p.m.
The films, as well as the associated book and public-health campaign, aim to explore the underlying causes making more than a third of Americans obese, and the looming, nationwide health problems we are sure to face if something doesn't change.
The films profile overweight and obese individuals and their families, tap researchers, follow farmers and interview food industry veterans, examining the societal forces that have convened over the past few decades to bring our waistlines to where they are today. While weight gain is often seen as the responsibility of the person putting on the pounds, "The Weight Of The Nation" shows that "There's no nature versus nurture," Dr. David Altshuler, director of the Broad Institute’s Program in Medical and Population Genetics said in the first part of the documentary, "There's nature and nurture," Boston.com reported.
On Tuesday, we co-hosted a Twitter chat with Dr. Rudy Leibel, M.D., professor of pediatrics and medicine at Columbia University Medical Center who specializes in obesity, and was featured in "The Weight Of The Nation." Dr. Leibel adressed the biology of obesity, helping us to understand how big of a role our genes play in predicting our pants size.
"The Weight Of The Nation" is presented by HBO and the the Institute of Medicine, in association with the CDC and the National Institutes of Health, and in partnership with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and Kaiser Permanente.
You can also stream the films for free after the live broadcast at theweightofthenation.hbo.com.
Here, some highlights from our chat.