Obesity is one of the nation’s greatest public health problems, affecting about a third of U.S. adults and nearly 17 percent of children and teens. Overweight and obesity increase risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. A collaboration among Home Box Office (HBO), the Institute of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, and Kaiser Permanente, this multi-media innovation reached diverse audiences with scientifically accurate information where they live, work, and play—advancing the Department of Health and Human Services’ mission to protect the health of all Americans. The films feature the causes and health consequences of obesity and show proven behavioral and environmental changes that can help curb the obesity epidemic. More than 9 million Americans viewed the films on TV, at events, and online, and hundreds of thousands engaged in dialogue via social media. More than 40,000 community-action kits were created for free distribution.
”The Weight of the Nation” is a powerful illustration of how federal agencies can work with each other and with private funders to use innovative approaches to address obesity in the United States. This public-private collaboration spurs action, provides strategic direction, and builds a strong foundation of community outreach to guide efforts to prevent and reduce obesity.
Susan Yanovski, National Institutes of Health
Catherine Loria, National Institutes of Health
Susan Dambrauskas, National Institutes of Health
Jennifer Seymour, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
William Dietz, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
John Hoffman, HBO Documentary Films
Judith Salerno, Institute of Medicine