A new study shows that obesity costs “$190 billion a year in additional medical spending” in the United States each year. That is a staggering statistic. What can be done about it?


That’s the question that the upcoming “Weight of the Nation” documentary on HBO will try to answer.



This four-part series, a presentation between HBO and the Institute of Medicine debuts on May 14 at 8 p.m. ET/PT when the first two episodes will air back to back. The second two episodes will air the following evening. The series will focus on “case studies, interviews with our nation’s leading experts, and individuals and their families struggling with obesity.”


  • Episode 1 - Consequences: Examines the scope of the obesity epidemic and explores the serious health consequences of being overweight or obese. 
  • Episode 2 - Choices: Provides "the skinny" on fat, sharing scientific insights into how to lose weight and explores what needs to change in peoples' lives, including where they work, eat, learn and play, while spotlighting individuals who are waging the battle successfully.
  • Episode 3 - Children in Crisis: Tells the heart-wrenching stories of young people struggling with excess weight and facing serious medical complications at an early age, and takes a hard look at the marketing practices of the food and beverage industry, which often undermine efforts of parents and others committed to keeping children healthy.
  • Episode 4 - Challenges: Examines the driving forces behind the obesity epidemic, including agriculture, economics, evolutionary biology, racial and socioeconomic disparities, physical inactivity and the strong influence of the food and beverage industry.

As someone who has struggled all my adult life with my weight (and am happy to say I’m on the shrinking side right now), I’m very interested in watching “Weight of the Nation.”


HBO is offering screening kits for people and organizations that contain a companion discussion guide on a first-come, first-served basis.


I’ll be watching. Will you?

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

HBO's 'Weight of the Nation' documentary explores obesity in the USA
HBO joins forces with the Institute of Medicine to create a 4-part documentary that explores the consequences, choices, children and challenges — all through