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WEIGHT of the Nation for Kids May 7, 2013

on May 7, 2013 in Nutrition, Weight Loss, Wellness Blog

 Kaiser Permanente is sponsoring the launch of a three-part documentary film series, The Weight of the Nation for Kids, on HBO.

As part of the organization’s continued efforts to promote a national conversation about obesity, Kaiser Permanente is sponsoring the launch of a three-part film series, The Weight of the Nation for Kids, which premieres May 7 on HBO. In addition to HBO, Kaiser Permanente is partnering with the Institute of Medicine, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on this launch. Each film in the series spotlights youth who are taking the initiative to change the food and physical activity environments in their communities to combat the growing childhood obesity epidemic. Childhood obesity remains a pressing health issue, and there is an urgent and unmet need to inform communities about its risk factors.

According to a recent national survey by the Institute of Medicine, at least 34 percent of American adults are overweight, and an additional 34 percent are obese. Among children, 32 percent meet the definition of being overweight or obese, with more than half of those in the obese category. A Groundbreaking Documentary The Weight of the Nation for Kids will help to increase national awareness and public engagement, inspiring kids to make healthy change happen in their own communities. The films contain critical and useful information we can apply to our own lives and share with our families, members, patients and communities. “Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions and has led to chronic conditions among our nation’s youth,” said Raymond J. Baxter, PhD, Kaiser Permanente’s senior vice president for Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy. “It’s clear that we must act now to improve the environments in which we live, work, learn and play.”

The documentaries use scientific fact and compelling testimonials to illustrate the health consequences of obesity and excess weight in youth. They share inspiring stories of perseverance and drive, highlighting youth groups and individuals who have made real progress in improving the health of their schools and communities. The films include:

  • The Great Cafeteria Takeover, which follows a group of kids in New Orleans who set out to make a difference in their community during the post-Katrina rebuilding period, eventually succeeding in changing their school lunch menus to include healthier options.
  • Kabreeya’s Salad Days tells the story of 17-year-old Kabreeya Lewis, whose fierce persistence and focus allowed her to achieve her goal of having a salad bar in her high school cafeteria in North Carolina.
  • Quiz Ed!, a documentary-style quiz show, polls young people, ranging from 10 to 18 years of age, using riddles about the food and activity factors that are contributing to the obesity epidemic.

“Our hope is that children, their families and community members will see the films, talk about the issues and find inspiration on how they can get involved to create healthier environments, whether at home, in schools or in the broader community,” said Baxter. This comprehensive campaign is an example of how Kaiser Permanente is building healthy communities. The organization provides broad access to high-quality care and applies its expertise to solve some of the biggest problems facing health care today. We give our time, talent, and resources to support programs that create healthy communities. Weight of the Nation for Kids: Part of a Larger Mission The Weight of the Nation for Kids films serve as a reminder that we can all take steps to support the health of our families and our communities. They also illustrate how young people have the commitment and dedication to improve the health of their own communities. It’s important for young people to be part of the conversation about the obesity epidemic, so we can ultimately reach our goal of becoming a healthier generation. In addition to The Weight of the Nation for Kids, Kaiser Permanente recently launched Thriving Schools — a comprehensive, national effort for K-12 students, their parents and families, as well as teachers and staff, focused on creating a culture of health in schools. These efforts combined are part of an ongoing commitment to improve school health through healthy food options and regular physical activity.