"The Weight Of The Nation": Documenting America's Obesity Epidemic: Part 2 - Choices

Tyler Durden's picture

Yesterday we saw the first part of the HBO Documentary "The Weight Of The Nation" focusing on America's Obesity Epidemic which could be summarized as follows: "68.8% of Americans are overweight or obese - what are the consequences?" Today, the premium cable channel has released the next episodes in the series, titled Choices. The second film 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?

From HBO:

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.

Your body’s energy requirements don’t necessarily stay the same throughout your entire adult life. One theory suggests that if you become overweight or obese, your body establishes a new normal weight, called its “set point,” which your body will fight to maintain even after you lose weight.

Shows like ‘The Biggest Loser’ may lead us to believe that exercise is the best or only way to lose weight. But successful programs aimed at losing weight and keeping it off target both eating less and being more physically active.

We eat for all sorts of reasons, not just because we’re hungry. We eat because we’re bored, sad, tired or - all too frequently - stressed. When we eat for reasons other than getting the right nutrition, we affect our weight and put our health at risk. New research suggests that taking time to think about what we eat - and why we are eating - can be an effective way to attain and maintain a healthy weight.

As adults, most of us spend more than half of our waking hours at work. And today’s jobs, many of which require hours a day parked in front of a computer, are often both sedentary and stressful. But there are small steps we can take to eat better and move more at work, even when our schedules aren’t flexible.

Making the decision to set and achieve realistic goals can, over time, lead to big results. And as we learn from Rhonda and Elana’s warm and supportive relationship, having a friend and partner can be invaluable when it comes to the hard work of keeping weight off.

If you have high blood pressure, the doctor isn't going to tell you to bring it down for six months and then do whatever you want. Maintaining a lower weight is similar. It’s an ongoing process that requires work and must be constantly monitored.

But the all effort to maintain a healthy weight does pay off. The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), a large, multi-site, NIH-funded study, has shown that high-risk participants (people with “pre-diabetes”) who lost a modest amount of weight through changes in diet and activity levels greatly reduced their chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

Part 2:

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
ACP's picture

Ah, Heeeeelll NO!

Actually, promoting obesity would solve the pension problem right quick.

As well as free unlimited cigarettes in prison.

iDealMeat's picture

I'm not Brad Pitt in F.C. , but I ride my bike to work.. And I can fix shit..  My wife notices that.  I'm happy to report an increase in sexual activity of the naughtiest type..



hedgeless_horseman's picture



Exercise definitely helps with the sex drive.  Better than any pill big pharma could sell me.

Dr. Engali's picture

+1 I can definitely attest to that.

AldousHuxley's picture

Americans = fat, dumb, unhappy


even military who usually takes anyone complained that 75% of potential recruits are unqualified because they were either too fat, too stupid (will shoot their own countrymen), too many out of wed-lock kids already in their youth, emotionally unstable (potential to go AWOL), or all of the above.


No wonder, Americans don't believe in evolution. The fat, stupid, crazy has offsprings, while healthy, stable, smart people don't have time to have kids due to paying off six figure college debt.



Stuck on Zero's picture

Look at the bright side of obesity.  If bad weather wipes out the crops we can feed off the obese for years.  If an enemy invades we can pile them up for shielding.  They're damn near bullet proof. Body fat can be converted into biodiesel quite easilyTwo hundred.  If gasoline goes to $10 a gallon we can mug fat people in dark alleys and liposuction them for fuel.  Two hundred pounds of body fat will take a Jetta almost 500 miles.  The obese float really well.  If you had an obese friend in New Orleans you would have been saved.



BlueCollaredOne's picture

We can also use that same fat to make soap, and sell that soap back to their fatasses.

Harlequin001's picture

'They're damn near bullet proof'


Bananamerican's picture

i made it thru about 6 minutes....how bout you guys?

that hbo show is a giant cavalcade of stupid.

"800$ million per year spent on research....Scientists are trying to understand the causes of..."


"Amerika, turn off your tv, buy some adidas, eat local, open your mind and SHUT YER FUCKING PIE-HOLE!"

you're welkome america

MacGruber's picture

Agreed! We need research? Here's your research. Exercise 5-6 days a week like I do, and you can eat a half a pack of Oreos a day at you leisure, shit, throw in a chocolate shake and a cinnamon roll. I need that many calories a day just to maintain. A healthy diet is definitely a great thing, but there is still no substitute for good old fashioned exercise.

Stack Trace's picture

I am in the same boat. Lost 80 pounds of fat. Put on 30 pounds of muscle. Now I need to eat or I lose weight. My avatar is me a few months ago. I am almost Brad Pitt lean now at 43.

My point.... It can be done. I had many health problems. All gone now from dropping the fat. It is hard work. I won't lie. But with discipline and good execution doable for almost anyone.

TBT or not TBT's picture

Plenty of research has been done on obesity, and the answers were in decades ago, but the answers were thrown out based on ideology and bias of various sorts, to bring us to this quagmire of blinkered thinking.  

Calorie restriction doesn't yield long term fat loss alone.   

Increased physical activity does not yield long term sustainable fat loss done alone.  

But wait for it.   Combining calorie restriction with increased excercise also does not yield sustainable fat loss.   

What does work, and has worked in every study undertaken for over a century now, is restricting carbohydrate input, regardless of excercise regimes, and even when participants are allowed to eat as much as they want(even as much as they were eating before, in calorie terms).   This works sustainably as well, because it elliminates craving between meals.   This is what the studies show, over and over and over again.

During the 1970's hearings of the McGovern led congressional committe that gave us the fattening, disease creating "food pyramid", low carb diets were ridiculed in an arranged circus of packaged food industry clowns against the sole supporting figure brought out for it, Dr Atkins of the famous diet.     The American Heart Association also had something to do with it, thanks to their very weak science but very loud voice villifying fats, giving us the current situation of widespread disease an obesity, despite all the dieting, despite all of the excercise clubs, the jogging fad, despite all the diet plans(low carb plans excepted), despite "lite" foods, despite "low fat" everything.

THE central cause of this epidemic is our increasing consumption of carbohydrates, and highly refined carbohydrates in particular.   All the other sources (high voltage, wathcing TV, sedendtary behavior, endocrine system mimicers, flouride, and on and on, are minor league compared to the hammer that is sugar, insulin spikes, and continously high insulin levels thanks to consuming far too many carbs.

Moe Howard's picture

Thank you for posting some facts. It was noted in the early 1930s that many children in NYC were fat & poor. They weren't playing video games, they were not drinking cokes and eating twinkies. They were eating bread and potatoes.

Try to go out and find a meal that does not have grains in it.

Even more crazy, go to the supermarket and pick up the sausage, and see if it has high fructose corn syrup in it.

What was the old saying, if you see sausage being made you won't eat it?

My dad made sausage at home in the 1970s - 1990s as a hobby. I watched him several times. Never saw him put corn syrup in there.

Now to complete your experiment, everything you buy at the supermarket, look and see. See if it has corn syrup in it. The vast majority of non-raw foods will. Does anyone think that is good for Americans to eat?

They are feeding the American people garbage and blaming them for being fat. Did anyone mention that the GMO grains have a narcotic like effect on the brain? Try stopping grain products cold turkey. Your nose will start running, you will have flu like symptoms, you will be sick and craving bread, pasta, pizza, anything with grain in it. Don't believe me? Try it.

Notice on the adverts for diet soda all the people are slim and trim? Now look at who drinks the diet sodas. They are all fat and sick. The artificial sweeteners tell the brain it is hungry. They make you crave food. My co-worker yesterday pulled a quart sized bottle of "Big Red" out of the fridge and said, "if you drink Big Red, this is the way to buy it". My answer - "that looks just like transmission fluid - and I'll bet they both have ingredients in common". Of course, he is now shaped like a beach ball, has prostate cancer, etc, and won't last much longer.

They redid the commissary on post. They went from 1/4 isle of water products to about 1/10 an isle. The gained space was stocked with more sugar water. Great eh?

If exercise is the answer, why are so many physical laborers overweight? Go by a construction site and let me know how many "buff" guys there are. I worked construction. Many strong people. Nobody looked like a weight lifter. Hell, Charles Atlas didn't look like today's weight lifter. Of course, he didn't take steroids. Now to the fitness exercise freaks on here: should they shovel mortar and haul brick and block all day, then go to the gym and pump iron or ride a bike 10 miles? Really? They aren't exercising enough? How many miles do you have to ride to burn off one candy bar? Hmmm.

So let me see, they dump the rat posion fluroide in the water supply and call the people stupid, they dump corn syurp in the food supply and call the people fat and lazy, they steal the money through legal counterfiting [Federal Reserve} and say the people are bums that won't save. Time for a revolution again.

SWRichmond's picture

Now to complete your experiment, everything you buy at the supermarket, look and see. See if it has corn syrup in it. The vast majority of non-raw foods will.

+1.  HFCS is in everything, and the most effective way to avoid it is to buy raw real food and prepare it yourself.

The artificial sweeteners tell the brain it is hungry. They make you crave food.

As do, apparently, the artificial "natural flavors" that contain MSG or which are know to contain or release free glutamates, stuff that enhances your taste experience and which makes you hungry for more. 

Let's take an example: a popular canned Chicken Noodle Soup ingredients list includes these: chicken stock [probably made with MSG], monosodium glutamate, modified food starch, yeast extract, flavoring, soy protein isolate.  All of these either do or "might" contain MSG or release free glutamates.


If one thinks about it even a little bit, then one will realize that anyone in the business of selling prepared food wants that food to "taste awesome!" and so will almost certainly add to it whatever ingredients are available to make it "taste awesome."  Many of those ingredients are horribly bad for you.

I stopped eating prepared food about two months ago and started exercising.  If it comes in a box of packages, if someone hands it to me through my car window, if it has been cooked by a restaurant or a grocery store and does not include an ingredient list I can review to my satisfaction, I do not eat it.  I have lost 21 pounds so far.  Fresh meat, fresh vegetables, and yes I still eat bread and pasta but not much.

Cutting out fat is another really bad idea IMO.  Fat is high in "satiety" (tummy-fillingness); when we substituted sugar for fat in packaged foods during the war on fat, the obesity epidemic exploded.  Anyone remember Snackwells?

Ident 7777 economy's picture



TBT or not TBT


Calorie restriction doesn't yield long term fat loss alone.

Increased physical activity does not yield long term sustainable fat loss done alone.  


Well let me just say one big DUH !


THE central cause of this epidemic is our increasing consumption of carbohydrates


What is rice? Is rice a carb?





Bleeding Fart's picture

See TBT or not TBT's response to my question about rice in the post on Part 1 of the Obesity Epidemic. It was informative.

And let me say again, avocados are soooo yummy!

TBT or not TBT's picture

You snipped out the shocker, that when done together, calorie restriction and increased physical activity ALSO do not yield sustainable fat loss.

Yeah, and rice is a carbohyrdate bomb, although mostly only of glucose.   Eat it in great moderation along with plenty of healthier foods, like vegetables and meat, meat WITH the fat on it.

tonyw's picture

Well there's a surprise researchers pressing for more research!

Eat less and move more.

Stop taking HFCS, soda, processed foo, anything with added sugar.



AldousHuxley's picture

or you can have fat lady restrain a criminal by sitting on him.



Arnold Ziffel's picture
Military spends $362M on weight-loss surgery


"Taxpayers fund Tricare, the health insurance for the military, which covered a $50,000 gastric bypass surgery for Jillian O'Malley, an Army wife at Georgia's Fort Stewart."





Moe Howard's picture

Not only that, the fat bitch can take half the guy's retirement check if she divorces him.

The soldier is the chump. He gets shot at, and his ex-wife gets half his money for life. Also, he can now turn over his GI Bill school benefits to her, so she can become a lawyer and divorce him.

Nice system.

Apostate2's picture

From Fats with love...

'Well, don't buy sugar

You just have to touch my cup

You're my sugar

And it's oh so sweet when you stir it up


When I'm takin' sips

From your tasty lips

Seems the honey fairly drips

You're confectionGoodness knows


Honeysuckle rose'


zerohedgeJUNKIE's picture

Definitely agree. Also strengthening your thighs also boost performance. It's like adding secret additive to your fuel. Pharma's Objective of a PILL for every ILL is not only detrimental to most of us but it teaches us to be lazy to take charge of our own health. As long as we have corporations in charge of our health system and big pharma and a monopoly of the medical industry by not letting uncoventional alternatives this endimic problems will persists. What we should be creating are documentary with this caliber that would be helpful and informative for ordinary people to help themselves we as a human race will never succeed on conquering lifes avoidable diseases if we are uninformed, mis informed and just plain lazy.

Gavrikon's picture

Yep.  Getting busy around the house means "gettin' BIZZAY" around the house.

Liposuction's picture

Religious nuts are out.


Seriously.  ZeroHedge comments are usually a wealth of financial knowledge.  At least until personal debt or food posts come up.  Then the religious nuts come out.  I don't mean bible or koran religious nuts.  I mean the kind of people that make statements like:

- Organic is better for you

- Organic tastes better

- Burger King makes you fat

- Ingredient X makes you fat

- Being Asian/White/Black/male/conservative/liberal/alive makes you fat


No, assholes.  Your decisions got you into that blubber suit.  You choose not to exercise, you grow a giant layer of fat.  You choose to eat only fast food, you turn into lard.  You spend more than you make, you go into debt.  FFS it's not that hard.  And don't give me the bullshit "organics are the answer" crap either.  Organics might be a great idea, but you can eat organic all the time every time and still be a fat lazy bastard.


bonin006's picture

That only works in the old eastern European ex Soviet countries where you are on your own when you get cancer or heart problems.

AldousHuxley's picture

In Russia, you find out about cancer or heart problems after you are dead.


In America, you get paid just to walk around for some cancer awareness "non-profit".

BandGap's picture

Actually fat people live as long as "normal" people.

Hulk's picture

Even if true (the old folks homes are filled with skinny people), whats your quality of life?

BandGap's picture

Actually fat people live as long as "normal" people.

a growing concern's picture

Not if we don't do a bunch of expensive medical interventions.

Admiral Douchebag's picture

The scientific evidence disagrees with you. For example: http://adc.bmj.com/content/88/9/748.full

a BMI of >25 kg/m2 at age 18 was associated with significantly increased mortality within 20 years of follow up. By the 32 year follow up, a BMI of greater than or equal to 26 kg/m2 at age 18 years was associated with significantly increased mortality risk (RR 1.95, with BMI 19 kg/m2 as the reference group)

One of many readily accessible papers that will tell you much the same thing.

Ident 7777 economy's picture




 . . . . HBO Documentary?


Since when?


Where the hell is Michael Moore?


 I want my propaganda from the pro's!


headless blogger's picture

Ensure no health care coverage along with that...and Bingo!

kall's picture

I think America needs some good weight loss national programs that are also effective, this would save so much money on the long run, we need to wake up.

Freebird's picture

Hahaha. Gotta luv the photo of that fat bitch no

Clueless Economist's picture

hey Skynyrd...back off... I into Big Sistas...sexy..YUM YUM


Consumer economy..............Burger King, Taco Bell, Dunkin Donuts.........

AldousHuxley's picture

In America, rich are skinny poor are fat

In America, you pay $100/month to do manual labor (aka. workout at the gym)

In America, meat and fat is cheaper than vegetables

In America, XXL is just medium

In America, you drink coffee by the bottle (Starbuck's Trenta is almost 1 Liter)

In America, even dogs and cats are obsese!


Time to convert food stamps into salad bar coupons







Freebird's picture

Each to their own no.
Or does it make you feel like a big guy going with a big mama?.
Fat is ...well fat
Sweet home brother

booboo's picture

some say roll her in flour and go for the wet spot but why waste good flour, deep fry that bitch when your done and sell that at the county fair. 

Metalredneck's picture

If she strikes oil when she wears high heels...

If you get on top & your ears pop...

l.hauri's picture

how to lose weight fast is a problemati question for many of us.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Dear lord, when I first saw the picture I thought it was a tick engorged after a blood meal. Then I realized it was human! I just hope it isn't real, maybe faked for dramatic effect. Yeah, that must be it. Deep breath, not real, everything ok...I feel better now.


docj's picture

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?

Much as I'm loathe to answer a question with a question, I have to ask why, precisely, should we concentrate medical research into an area that is so utterly, completely and personally controlable?

Look, I'm one of those folks who has "struggled with excess weight" for pretty much my entire life and while it's better now than it has been in a very long time (I've dropped a net of about 40# over the last year) it's still not optimal (I'm sure I'm still classified as obese). Know why? Because my eating habbits suck and I lack the discipline to do anything about it to date sufficient to bring it in line with "standards". Why should anyone spend money on a "magic pill" to make me "better"?

Ancona's picture

Plus.......like.........a fucking million Doc.

Dr. Engali's picture

I'm with you on that. I'm 48 and I took off 50 lbs but I have to work like a bitch to keep it off. I track every calorie I eat and exercise 1 hour a day 5 days a week.

I'm not trying to pat myself on the back I'm just saying its hard , but it's up to me to do control my actions. I don't need Michele Obummer looking over my shoulder trying " to take care of me".