The Weight of the Nation is a documentary project on investigating the overweight epidemic in the United States. The first part, Consequences, tells the viewer about health consequences of being overweight or obese, the scale of epidemic and future development of the problem (Hoffman, 2012). In its turn, the second part, which is called Choices, proposes various solutions to the overweight problems (Hoffman & Chaykin, 2012). The series of documentaries contains statistics, investigations, thoughts of the professionals and interviews with obese people and those who cope with this problem; thus, the potential scale of the epidemic is dramatically shown.
In 1835, Adolphe Quetelet introduced a Body Mass Index, due to which the coefficient 18.5-24.9 is considered to be an indicator of a healthy person’s weight, 25-29.9 means that a person is overweight and coefficient equal or more than 30 is inherent in obese people. Thus, simple calculations may show whether a person is overweight or has a healthy weight (Hoffman, 2012). The research given in Consequences showed that 68.8% of Americans are overweight or obese. With the course of time, the number of those Americans who suffer from the overweight only increases. Despite the fact that children lead more active life, they are also susceptible to the overweight problem. In 2009, one epidemiologist from the Louisiana State University started the study of childhood obesity in Bogalusa, Louisiana. A year later, this research showed that half of children are overweight or obese. In its turn, a thirty-year-long Bogalusa Heart Study showed that 77% of obese children remained obese in their adulthood while only 8% of those who had healthy weight in the childhood became obese in their adulthood. It means that increasing number of obese children will doubtlessly increase the number of obese adults (Hoffman, 2012).
One may see in the documentary amazing rates of the overweight epidemic. Overweight can lead to a variety of diseases and health problems. It increases cardiovascular risk factors in both children and adults; it increases the risk of developing asthma by 52%. Obese people are likely to get kidney disease. The study showed that 25 million of Americans have diabetes, while 75 million are in the prediabetic state (Hoffman, 2012). Even a small amount of extra weight may cause type 2 diabetes in adults due to improper use of insulin or insufficient production of the insulin.
It is obvious that the overweight epidemic has bad influence not only on the nation’s health, but also the on country’s budget. The National Institutes of Health spends more than $800 million per year on the research, prevention and treatment of the obesity disease (Hoffman & Chaykin, 2012). The multiple researches show that even little changes in the lifestyle may prevent the overweight. For example, soda water brings about 300 extra calories that a person’s organism does not require. Numerous fast food restaurants force people to eat more than they need. The Weight Control Registry analyzed the habits that lead to the weight loss. They may be summarized into easy steps that may be taken to reduce weight and improve health: eating more fresh fruits and vegetables and less fried food, drinking clean water and everyday sport activities. Even in case of a sedentary work, it is possible to walk during lunch break and take meal from the home, avoiding eating in fast food restaurants. Combination of sufficient activity and healthy food will bring a person a healthy weight. However, in case of extreme obesity, surgeons provide bariatric surgery that reduces the amount of digestible food (Hoffman & Chaykin, 2012).
In conclusion, it should be noted that the mass loss is a time-consuming process that requires a great desire and motivation. Healthy weight may not only bring the desired body, but also reduce illnesses and sustain life. The Weight of the Nation helps people to understand and transvalue their lifestyle and the problem of the overweight as a whole.
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