The Weight of The Nation HBO Series Documents the Obesity Epidemic, Call to Action

For Immediate Release: May 14, 2012

Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
802-863-7281

BURLINGTON – Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD is encouraging Vermonters to watch the upcoming HBO documentary series “The Weight of the Nation” to better understand the nation’s obesity epidemic and inspire Vermonters to take action.

Four feature films – Consequences, Choices, Children in Crisis, and Challenges – premieres on HBO on May 14 and May 15 at 8 p.m., and will be available for viewing online at: www.hbo.com/theweightofthenation.

“Even in the healthiest state, we are facing the consequences of growing rates of overweight and obesity among adults and children,” said Dr. Chen. “During the next few months, communities will have the opportunity to show the documentary and use social media for good – to engage Vermonters and mobilize local action to help prevent life-threatening chronic conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”

The HBO series was created in collaboration with the Institute of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention to spark a national public health campaign on an issue that affects every state.

No state has met the Healthy People 2010 goal to lower obesity prevalence to 15 percent. In Vermont in 2010, about one in four adults, and one in 10 adolescents were obese. According to the Health Department’s Nutrition & Physical Activity Chief Susan Coburn, the HBO series is an opportunity to highlight community actions already underway in Vermont, and to inspire more.

“The Ottauquechee Community Partnership is working with local farmers and producers, hospitals, schools and food shelves to create a more nutritious local food system,” said Coburn. “Enosburg Village placed crosswalk signs to create safer walking routes, and soda has not been available in vending machines at Champlain Valley Union High School in Hinesburg for more than five years. These are just three examples of communities taking action to make the healthy choice an easier choice.”

For more information, tools and links to The Weight of the Nation campaign and Vermont’s efforts, go to healthvermont.gov and www.cdc.gov/obesity. Also join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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