Weekly Roundup: Sounding Off on “Weight on the Nation”

Episode No. 3 of "Weight of the Nation" focuses on childhood obesity specifically.

As the four-part documentary Weight of the Nation premiered on HBO this week, television critics, health advocates and others took to the Internet to share their thoughts on the film. FoodCorps member Daniel J. Schultz penned an article for The Huffington Post sharing his experience as a former overweight teenager, noting that the documentary “helps to put human faces and stories to the familiar striking statistics” and “is an important film to help encourage success and long-lasting maintenance against this obesity epidemic.” Over at The Atlantic, Marion Nestle writes that while the documentary certainly explained the scope of the epidemic, she “wanted to see the programs take leadership on how government can help citizens reduce the social, economic, and business drivers of obesity.” Meanwhile, Marilyn Wann criticizes the films in SF Weekly, writing that they “might be our worst case of fat fearmongering yet.

So what did you think of Weight of the Nation? Email me at We’ll gather the responses in a blog we’ll post next week.

Soda Tax Hits Ballot in Calif.

The California city of Richmond will decide whether to tax soda and other sugary-sweetened carbonated drinks in November, the Associated Press reports. The Richmond City Council voted 5-2 this week to include a measure for a soda tax on the November ballot. Grocers and the soft drink industry have voiced opposition.

First Lady, Olympians Help Kids Get Active

First Lady Michelle Obama announced a new initiative this week designed to get more children involved in sports, with members of the 2012 Summer Olympic team helping out. The New York Times reports Let’s Move! will partner with 10 national sports governing bodies on the initiative. Obama will lead the presidential delegation at the Olympics opening ceremonies in London this summer.

WHO Warns Against Obesity

The World Health Organization on Wednesday released data showing a rise in conditions such as heart disease and diabetes worldwide, and noted that obesity is rising in every area of the world, including poor nations. Fox News reports that the data shows 12 percent of the world’s population is now obese.

Diets Safe, and Perhaps Beneficial, for Obese Expectant Moms

New research shows that expectant mothers who are obese can benefit from diet and exercise designed to help them shed pounds during pregnancy, CBS News reports. For example, women “who went on a calorie-restricted diet were 33 percent less likely to develop pre-eclampsia.”

Obesity Hinders Job Search, Study Finds

A new study in the International Journal of Obesity finds that a hiring bias against obese people, especially women, could exist. reports that although discrimination against obese people is illegal, a person’s weight might negatively impact an employer’s impression of a potential employee, thus making it harder for obese people to find work.

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