A film about America’s obesity epidemic and a panel discussion will be presented in Waimea and Hilo. The events are being sponsored by Kaiser Permanente and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (the Dells are part-time Hawaii Island residents).
The documentary was created by HBO Documentary Films and The Institute of Medicine in Association with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health. The obesity epidemic is one of the most pressing health issues facing the nation today. More than two-thirds of U.S. adults age 20 and over are overweight or obese, while
nearly one-third of the nation’s children and adolescents age two to 19 are overweight or obese. Obesity contributes to five of the ten leading causes of death in America, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, stroke and kidney disease.
The documentary is in four parts. Part 1, Consequnces, which will be featured at the Hawaii Island screenings, examines the scope of the obesity epidemic and explores the serious health consequences of being overweight or obese.
The second, Choices, offers viewers the skinny on fat, revealing what science has shown about how to lose weight, maintain weight loss and prevent weight gain.
The third, Children in Crisis, documents the damage obesity is doing to our nation’s children. Through individual stories, this film describes how the strong forces at work in our society are causing children to consume too many calories and expend too little energy; tackling subjects from school lunches to the decline of physical education, the demise of school recess and the marketing of unhealthy food to children.
The fourth film, Challenges, examines the major driving forces causing the obesity epidemic, including agriculture, economics, evolutionary biology, food marketing, racial and socioeconomic disparities, physical inactivity, American food culture, and the strong influence of the food and beverage industry.
HBO will screen all four films on May 14 and 15.
“Obesity-related health care costs about $147 billion annually, and on average, it costs $1400 more a year to care for someone who is obese,” notes Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “To get healthy, we’re all going to have to do our part – individuals, communities, local, state and the federal government…We’re going to face steadily increasing health care costs, as well as more lives lost to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, many cancers and other complications from obesity.”
Hawaii Island screenings of Part 1 start Monday, May 7 at Parker School Theater, 65-1224 Lindsey Road in Waimea, with doors opening at 5 p.m., the screening and panel discussion at 5:30. The Hilo event is Friday, May 11 at the Palace Theater at 38 Haili Street right in downtown Hilo, doors opening at 5, the screening and panel discussion starting at 5:30.