OAKLAND, Calif. — In a continued effort to promote a national conversation about obesity and obesity prevention, Kaiser Permanente is sponsoring a three-part film series, The Weight of the Nation for Kids, focused on youth. The films, which premiere tonight on HBO, spotlight youth who are taking the initiative to change the food and physical activity environments in their communities as a way to combat the growing obesity epidemic.
“Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions and has led to chronic conditions among our nation’s youth,” said Raymond J. Baxter, PhD, Kaiser Permanente’s senior vice president for Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy. “It’s clear that we must act now to improve the environments in which we live, work, learn and play.”
The Weight of the Nation for Kids follows last year’s launch of The Weight of the Nation, one of the most ambitious public health campaigns to date addressing America’s obesity epidemic. Kaiser Permanente’s partners in this campaign include HBO, the Institute of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.
Over the past year, Kaiser Permanente has hosted screenings and town hall events across the country to engage communities in discussions about solutions. Through grants co-funded by Kaiser Permanente and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, 40,000 screening kits that include DVDs of the films and discussion guides have been made available free of charge. For The Weight of the Nation for Kids, additional screening kits will be available for community and school screenings. The films are available in English and Spanish and can be streamed, free of charge, from HBO.com.
Watch a preview of The Weight of the Nation for Kids
“Our hope is that children, their families and community members will see the films, talk about the issues and find inspiration on how they can get involved to create healthier environments, whether at home, in schools or in the broader community,” Baxter added.
The Weight of the Nation for Kids aims to raise national awareness and engage the public about the epidemic of obesity, particularly in children. The films contain critical and useful information that can be applied immediately and shared with families, members, patients and communities.
The films use scientific fact and compelling testimonials to illustrate the health consequences of obesity and excess weight in youth. They also share inspiring stories of perseverance and drive, highlighting youth groups and individuals who have made real progress in improving the health of their schools and communities.
The three films are:
- The Great Cafeteria Takeover, which follows a group of children in New Orleans that set out to make a difference in their community during the post-Katrina rebuilding period, eventually succeeding in changing their school lunch menus to include healthier options.
- Kabreeya’s Salad Days, the story of 17-year-old Kabreeya Lewis, whose fierce persistence allowed her to achieve her goal of having a salad bar in her high school cafeteria in North Carolina.
- Quiz Ed!, a documentary-style quiz show that polls young people, ranging from 10 to 18 years of age, using riddles about the food and activity factors that are contributing to the obesity epidemic.
In addition to The Weight of the Nation for Kids, Kaiser Permanente recently launched Thriving Schools— a comprehensive, national effort for K-12 students, their parents and families as well as teachers and staff, focused on creating a culture of health in schools. These efforts combined are part of an ongoing commitment to improve school health through healthy food options and regular physical activity.