Review: The Weight of the Nation, an HBO documentary


The Weight of the Nation covers a wide swathe of issues; it discusses environmental factors like the inexpensive junk food that dazzles us at every corner to the lack of playgrounds, particularly in poor neighborhoods. It gives examples of people on both sides of the street – from the experts that are striving to understand obesity to everyday Americans struggling to make a positive change in their lives.

This four-part HBO documentary was one of the first educational videos I watched when I began my healthy lifestyle. The show is available for free online and it’s part of a greater campaign to curb the obesity epidemic. I have recommended the show to a few of my friends, and those who watched it agree that it is incredibly motivational.

The documentary itself is split into four parts:  the scope of the obesity epidemic, the choices people make, how children in particular are affected by our societal norms and the challenges we all face in overcoming this issue.  Some parts were hard to swallow, not only when they show fatty organs that have massive muscle walls and fat build-ups, but also because the people they interview about their obesity-related health problems are so similar to many of my own friends and family.

The takeaway for me came during the second part; maintaining your health requires consistent work for the long-term. In particular, they cite a study from the National Institute of Health that followed people who are pre-disposed to type 2 diabetes and showed that those who lost some weight and began eating right significantly reduced their chances of developing the disease. They interview a set of identical twins; one of them loses some weight, eats right and stays healthy but the other doesn’t and develops diabetes.  It’s sad to see the results for the twin that develops diabetes, but is truly motivational to staying fit and avoiding such serious health problems. Whether you’re overweight or thin, a fitness expert or if you hardly ever move around, I believe that watching The Weight of the Nation ( can be a step toward living a healthy and happy life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *