Across the globe, millions of children are struggling with being overweight. It's an epidemic that places the longevity of our future generations in peril. The feature-length documentary Way Beyond Weight examines the factors that have led to this health crisis, and searches for solutions that can free our children from its deadly grip.
The film theorizes that the epidemic likely started in the United States with the proliferation of processed foods after World War II. Today, the scourge of obesity touches every corner of the world. The filmmakers travel to the U.S., Brazil and other regions to speak with a panel of health experts, food industry representatives, researchers and many children who have fallen victim to obesity and all the diseases it encompasses. In each stop along the way, the causes and symptoms of this destructive condition are strikingly similar.
Few are without blame. The parents of these children may be overly permissive or poorly informed, but many of them do not have access to healthy alternatives. On every street, their children are battling the bombardment of fatty foods and sugary drinks. Public parks and school gymnasiums have dwindled, and their absence effectively limits a child's exposure to physical activity. Technology has overtaken a child's desire for play; instead of jumping rope or climbing walls, modern video games encourage children to remain stationary and often isolated from others. Corporations look upon these children as easy prey, and their seductive marketing masks the truth behind the addictive and dangerous products they sell. Portions have grown substantially, and sugar content has risen to historic levels.
The film shows us how the consequences of unhealthy eating and limited physical fitness go far beyond health risks like diabetes and heart disease. It also attacks a child's psychological wellness, and the shame and loneliness induced by obesity often fuels its continued dominance in their lives.
A thoughtful and thorough investigation of the obesity epidemic, Way Beyond Weight arms its viewers with essential information, and empowers them to take control of their child's health.
Directed by: Estela Renner