One-third of American adults and one-sixth of American children are obese, meaning they are significantly overweight for their height, age, and/or gender. Obesity increases the risk of a range of serious health issues, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, fatty liver disease, and some cancers. In 2008, obesity-related medical costs totaled an estimated $147 billion.
The Weight of the Nation
On May 14, HBO began a documentary series on the obesity epidemic. The series, titled "The Weight of the Nation," will launch a far-reaching public health campaign, including four prime-time documentaries, nationwide community-based outreach, a website, social media, and an HBO Family Series for kids. To create the series, HBO partnered with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Institute of Medicine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, and Kaiser Permanente. Request a film screening kit and find out more.
Read more about "The Weight of the Nation" in the NIH Record.
NIH Weight-Control Information and Research
An article in the March-April issue of the NIH Catalyst describes some of the research that NIH scientists are conducting on obesity. Their endeavors further the goals of the Strategic Plan for NIH Obesity Research, developed to encourage diverse scientific investigations to reduce the prevalence of obesity and its health consequences.
Other NIH Resources and Programs
The Trans-NIH Obesity Research Task Force was established to accelerate progress in obesity research across the NIH.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases' Weight-control Information Network (WIN) provides science-based information on weight control, physical activity, and nutritional issues.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's We Can! provides tips and tools to help children and their parents eat right, get active, and limit screen time.
The NIH Clinical Center's Metabolic Clinical Research Unit (MCRU) houses specialized, state-of-the-art facilities that allow researchers to conduct cutting-edge research on the physiology and causes of obesity.
Watch a video about the MCRU.
Clinical trials on obesity and obesity-related health issues are essential to finding solutions to this epidemic.
Find additional information on NIH weight-control resources and research.
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