Opinion · Weight Loss

Weekend Watching: Weight of the Nation

Recently I found out about the HBO Documentary Weight of the Nation, a four-part documentary series looking at obesity in the United States. Quite frankly, I think most information is not that far off for most Western Industrialized nations. In Canada we may not have the same level of fast food, candy, ridiculous portions, but we’re getting there and we’re getting there fast. I, pardon the pun, devour information on obesity. I like reading articles – I prefer scientific ones, rather than magazines – on the causes, effects, and consequences of obesity, weight loss, and weight loss maintenance and thus I found this to be a fascinating series. I watched it over the course of the long weekend a couple weeks back and in case you haven’t yet heard of it, I’d like to share it with you.

As I get closer to my goal weight and the inevitable challenge of maintaining my weight loss I am also reading about why it is often hard to maintain. One of the key reasons that seems to be addressed quite a bit in medical blogs and articles is that with obesity and the resulting weight loss our body is forever changed metabolically and that that never goes away. Here is a short video (1:41) that explains it briefly. The basic premise is: take two people at a healthy weight. Person 1 got to this weight through weight loss and Person 2 has been at this weight for their life. Person 1 CANNOT eat the same amount of calories as Person2 to maintain their weight. They must eat approximately 20% less. Here, he explains it with pictures! :

Is this fair? Oh certainly not. Is life fair? Well I think we all learned the answer to that one when were children. For me, it’s about information, if I know this then I can prepare myself. Complaining or wishing it not true isn’t going to do me a lick of good. Is it fair that an alcoholic cannot have that one summer drink on the patio with friends? No, but that’s one’s lot in life. Everyone has their own challenges and struggles and there is no use in comparing ourselves to someone else because in the end we’ll just end up miserable. We need to face our challenges not wish them away.

Here’s the trailer for the doc and then I’ve added links to all four parts, each is just over an hour long. If you go on their website you’ll see bonus shorts and articles as well.

Part 1: Consequences

Part 2: Choices

Part 3: Children in Crisis

Part 4: Challenges

Happy Weekend All!


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