The Weight of the Nation: Choices

2012, Health  -   20 Comments
Ratings: 8.29/10 from 21 users.

The Weight of the Nation: ChoicesThe second film in the series poses a question that almost anyone who's struggled with excess weight has asked, if only in jest: For all the remarkable high-tech tools available to medicine, for all the billions of dollars in drug research, there's still no highly effective medication to prevent or reverse obesity – why?

Researchers are, in fact, developing and evaluating strategies to help people reach and maintain a healthy weight, so that they can look forward to healthier lives. Diet is a part of the equation, but most name-brand diets promise quick, dramatic rewards and gloss over the long-term effort needed to keep weight off. Maintaining weight loss is a challenge, and success requires sustained changes in our food and physical activity.

Weight - whether we gain it or lose it - is dependent on our body’s energy balance: We are in balance when we take in and burn off the same number of calories each day. Take in more calories than we burn, and the pounds add up. Take in fewer, and the number on the scale goes down.

Other episodes: 1. Consequences, 3. Children in Crisis, and 4. Challenges.

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20 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Educated Coaching

    I think Yolanda used the key word - 'commitment'. You can say you want something over and over (and this can apply to anything), but it is not until you actually commit to changing the behaviour that you are going to make any progress. Wanting isn't doing.

    Also, if sweetened beverages are the only 'food' directly linked to obesity, why haven't there been law suits like there have been with tobacco companies???

  2. Susan

    I have had a traumatic event take place and as a result it has left me
    physically and emotionally scarred. I started to overeat and not
    get much exercise. I am now 61 years old and it becomes harder
    and harder to lose the extra weight. With a bad back it is really
    hard to get up and move around. I want to try to loose weight,
    but I don't know where to begin or even if I can. There are so
    many negative and mean spirited people who think that bullying
    someone or shaming them is helpful. It only hurts someone more.
    Please do not kick someone who is already down. Maybe you
    could walk( or try to walk) in their shoes for a while.

  3. Ed Lau

    4 years, it's been 4 years since I left my obese self behind. I never knew life until that happened, weight loss gave me a life, a life worth living, worth pursuing, worth loving.

  4. Jax Rousseau

    The thing is that we eat until we're full. The problem with most diets is that it calls for severely reduced portion sizes. So we're eating a lot of calories in not a lot of food. Therefore, we're going to consume more calories until we're full.

    Once out of my parents house and now in college, I have taken to eating very large salads instead of eating pizza. That way I'm getting full (filling my stomach up), but not consuming a ton of calories, and also getting in my vitamins and minerals and fiber and all that good stuff.

    I have never felt or looked better in my life since I started eating very healthy. And the less high-fat, sugary stuff I consume, I found the less I crave it.

    I don't know if I'm a rare case, but hey, it works for me.

    1. Educated Coaching


  5. Remco Gerritsen

    This I think everyone already knew. That diets are basically just scam.

    You loose 10 pounds and gain 30.

    And worse is, you don't feel better. You feel worser then ever. Spend a lot of useless money which could be spent on healthy food or excerside. And no that is not all, you're getting those hypocritical **** even richer:S BAN DIETS!

  6. Remco Gerritsen

    Step 3 and 4 are hard for me. But these are some good tips which I've heard a lot. (00.12.00)

  7. Remco Gerritsen

    People say: Eat less/Drink more water/Move more.

    But, this isn't all. Some people just can't do it. It's not that easy as you think.

    But like everyone on this world. Everyone thinks SO easy. Always thinking there better then everyone. YOU AREN'T. Loosing weight is really hard.

    But those who didn't need to do it. Don't know it.

  8. Remco Gerritsen

    Clearly "the change" didn't worked for me.

    I started eating less food. I do not even drink soda any more.

    I now eat instead of 6 bars of cholate a day, 3 bars a day of 100 grams.
    I now do not drink soda anymore, I only drink water and only water.
    The rest is normal, because my parents take good care of me.

    But still, I am getting more weight by the second. From 100 to 150 KG in 5 years.

  9. 1beyourowndoc2

    It seems to me that the solution is already here. It is a matter of changing the mind set of the people in the country. I managed to attain my perfect weight with just a few lifestyle and dietary changes and a few years of dedicated application. The benefits are immense with just a few mental decisions. The solution is not in the doctor's office,from medical research, or a magic bullet or with a prescribed diet. It will come from people understanding the risk, realizing the benefit, and staying the course.

  10. Christian Tintin Johansson

    How hard can it be? Does it really take a documentary to get why you are fat?

    Eat/drink less junk and move your ass more, that's how you don't get fat.
    There SHOULD NOT be a medicine preventing or reversing obesity for normal people who are too lazy to get out of the couch and walk at least a couple of miles a day.

    1. CyberDog Breath

      Does it really require schooling to read.... how hard can it be. And there is not currently just one documentary, there are many, and a lot of the information is extremely contradictory, and a lot of people, despite following all this information that you deem as elementary, still have severe problems. Wouldn't it be more constructive to not be so "lazy" and do some research before criticizing people with an obesity problem. This is far from a simple problem, and anyone just assuming that it is, is very far removed from reality. This is a deep problem, ranging from psychology to understanding human evolution, and even the manipulation of people by corporates to make extra money. I did find the documentary informative, however like many of the others, there is no clear solution. Most people cannot afford proper health food, most have to work insane hours, and are slaves to their lives, unable to spend that extra time required for "healthy" living, like buying, preparing, and making healthy food, and taking time for exercise. Besides, a point that was made in the documentary, which to me highlights that this not such a simple cut and dry matter is that a person that has lost weight, from being obese to "normal" weight, will have their bodies automatically attempt to gain the weight back again, so they have to eat LESS than their counterpart of the same age, and same weight, who has always been that weight. That is not intuitive or simple to understand at all.

    2. Dov

      Hi, you are most definitely right. This is not a simple problem. It takes a concerted effort to bring yourself back to health, if you're not there. First, let me tell you that I run a school garden to table program at a very poor community here in Stockton, CA and am in school to become certified as a holistic nutritionist. I am not an absolute expert, but I am getting there. I noticed that I can give people advice in the mechanics of healthy eating, but until they're ready to do it nothing will happen. Here are a couple of things you can do for a start. In this movie they stated that soda is the #1 source of sugar that is leading to obesity. Replace this with another drink. That would probably be green tea with lemon and a tiny bit of stevia and a touch of cayenne. This will be like a spicy tea lemonade. The cayenne keeps your metabolic rate up. You'll burn more efficiently. Next, sign up for a CSA (Community Supplied Agriculture). These, usually mostly fruits and vegetables, come in a box that is to be returned to the grower. No, waste. Buying this way saves you time in the super market and it cost about the same as the non-organic food at the grocery store because there's no middle man. Another way is to go to farmer's markets. If you go about 15 minutes before they shut down many growers will sell you food very cheaply because they don't want to hall the food back only to turn it into compost. Also, you may want to dial down on your animal flesh intake, no more then 3 oz. per meal. That will save you a lot of money. Here's something most are not telling you. We have pleasure/ pain hormones in us. The parasympathetic system is for sleep, eating, and elimination, which releases a pleasure drug, endorphine, an internal morphine. On the other side is the sympathetic nervous system for curiosity, creativity, and challenges. This releases the drug dopamine, which is also a pleasure drug. Optimum happiness can be achieved through a balance of these 2. Here's the rub. The sugar, that's including HFCS. high fructose corn syrup and fruit juices is addictive just like cocaine. It releases dopamines. Once we admit we're addicted, then the course of action is to detox. Another is that when you get these sugar craving do something that will release dopamines, a passion if you will, like playing the guitar, or learning a new language, exercise, crossword puzzles, or sudokus. Anything that releases dopamine without eating. If you must consume something, drink a pint of purified water, slowly. Please, do not do this on your own, but seek professional help! You see people become fat because the body is building up toxins from all the corrupted food the corporations want us to eat for their profits. If you remove the toxins and minimize taking it in again, you'll not need the fat to protect you. Over time your cravings will subside and you'll lose weight. Allow yourself to fail once in awhile, it's okay, don't stress over it. A couple of words of caution. If you are diabetic type 2, have any diabetes related diseases, or are obese, there's a likelihood that you are insulin resistant from the excess sugars. You need to get that working again properly. We are all bio-individual, so if you work with somebody that says one size fits all, they are not for you, but for themselves. There's a whole mess of new occupation that are coming to the west, like yoga, accupunture, massage therapy, and most of all mindfulness meditation. Eat your food in gratitude and peace. Online there are a slew of places that can tell you about mindful eating. Perhaps you'd like to try it with your meal at the beginning eating that way. You'll reach satiation a whole lot faster, without eating as much. Please, seek the advice of a professional in health care. There are many naturopaths out there, that can help you. I know I've given you a lot to chew on, but pick one thing, do it slowly, figure out how it works, do it, then move on to the next, before you know it you've moved on to a healthy lifestyle. Always keep in mind that food should be local, seasonal, organic and unprocessed. Blessings, and to your health.

    3. CyberDog Breath

      Dear Dov,

      Thank you for your response, I appreciate the insight. Though there still remains the controversy. Organic, in my opinion is not that good, it is mostly is in worse condition than non organic, and generally contains more insecticides, as it is not as resilient to pests and diseases as non-organic foods are. And I am yet to find any evidence, anywhere that non-organic food cause or contribute to any health problems. Using logic, I come to the conclusion it is in overall more healthy. Do you have any evidence to suggest otherwise, I would greatly appreciate any useful and meaningful evidence. What I have found through experience, and something that many fail to mention is the effect of stress has on your eating, as well as directly on your sugar levels. Not to mentions, the effect on your sugar levels that a lack of certain nutrients in your diet can cause. Stress accelerates diabetes and eating disorders to an extant that is frightening. Lack of fish in a diet can also have extremely negative effects. Which was a painfully learned experience for me, going through mood swings, and incredible amount of stress and anxiety from the lack of fish in my diet. And this ends up in a self feeding loop, spiraling out of control. And all that is needed is some stress for a trigger. Which, of course, with no surprise, there is no shortage of stress.

  11. Rob Hugh

    I do believe from both experience and observation that amphetamines work quite fine. Low dosage and medically supervised, I would think should prove perfection

  12. silkop

    "for all the billions of dollars in drug research, there’s still no highly effective medication to prevent or reverse obesity"

    How about the world-famous "permanently eat less than you need" medication? Strange that there were no fat prisoners who escaped WW2 concentration camps...

    People become fat because they eat too much. They eat too much because of carelessness, bad habits, lack of willpower, and lack of happiness. Overeating is very much like overindulging in alcohol and other pleasures. If you want to solve the "obesity epidemic", make people reflect more on what they need, make it more socially desirable to stay fit (and less acceptable to get/stay fat). Americans' obesity problem is but a side effect of their cherished worldview.

    1. exadverso

      Your answers to the problem seem to me to be little better than the problem itself. you should consider the fact that some people in the world have little else in their life for comfort than the food they eat. Obviously, there are people who are greedy and become overweight as a consequence but your answer is to "make people" stay fit, etc...

      You talk about people "overindulging in alcohol and other pleasures"

      Sounds like your world is quite a dull and a very intolerant place to live, and I for one certainly wouldn't wish to live their. You sound like some frustrated evangelist whose company should be avoided.

      If you are going to step into this kind of arena, I would advise you to do some research about the issue you wish to pontificate about before you open your big mouth.

      Piece of advice for you, it's not just America's problem, it's rapidly becoming a world problem and it exists because people like you can't be bothered to find out the real reasons why.

  13. Cyber Penguin

    The guy has a Tattoo of a Cheese burger O.O

  14. MediaMongrel

    Eat nothing but baby food.