As obesity continues to diminish the quality of people's lives and raise health care costs, the Institute of Medicine is pleased to join HBO, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, and Kaiser Permanente in developing "The Weight of the Nation," a new national campaign tackling the obesity crisis.
The Weight of the Nation will shed new light on the facts and myths of this urgent public health issue and explore how obesity is impacting our nation and the health care system. This multipronged project will feature a series of four documentary films, a three-part HBO Family series, 14 bonus short films, a social media campaign, a companion book, and a nationwide community-based outreach campaign. The four-part documentary series -- which HBO today announced will air May 14 and 15 -- and other facets of the initiative were developed with expert input from IOM as well as CDC and NIH.
In conjunction with the project, IOM will publish a new report funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that will review progress made so far to implement strategies to curb obesity and recommend selected actions aimed at accelerating progress in the near future. The report's recommendations will serve as scientifically grounded guidance to community groups, policymakers, and other concerned individuals and organizations seeking to implement obesity prevention strategies locally and at the national level.
Past studies by IOM and others have shown that obesity is not simply a failure of personal responsibility and combating it demands action at all levels -- from the individual and the family, to communities, to the nation as a whole. IOM is also working with the collaborating organizations to develop action kits that will provide tools to help community-based groups take steps to prevent obesity.
"It will take many individuals and organizations at all levels, public and private, to tackle the obesity crisis, one of the most serious threats to our nation's health," said IOM President Harvey V. Fineberg. "That's why the Institute of Medicine joined with several other partners to develop this important national initiative designed to engage people in communities throughout America in actions that can curb and prevent obesity."