Materials Available to Support HBO's 'The Weight of the Nation' Documentary Series

September 4, 2013

Originally published May 7, 2012

The obesity epidemic is one of the most pressing health issues facing the nation today. More than two-thirds of U.S. adults age 20 and over are overweight or obese, while nearly one-third of the nation's children and adolescents age two to 19 are overweight or obese. Obesity contributes to five of the ten leading causes of death in America, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, stroke and kidney disease.

A multi-part, multi-platform event, HBO's Weight of the Nation is comprised of a series of four documentary films, three children's films, and up to 12 bonus short films.  The mission of this public education campaign is to accelerate efforts to eliminate obesity across the U.S.

CDC is working with HBO Documentary Films, the National Academies of Science Institute of Medicine, Kaiser Permanente and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation to roll out the community and state engagement component of the campaign. Activities that support the community and state engagement efforts will include regional screenings in several major cities, the distribution of up to 40,000 community action kits, an HBO web site and a social media campaign.  In addition, parts of the documentary series will be screened at the CDC's Weight of the Nation 2012 conference in Washington DC on May 7.

On May 14 and 15, HBO will broadcast the documentaries through all its channels including the HBO main channel, multiplex channels, HBO On Demand, HBO GO and more. The films will stream free of charge on In addition to the community screenings of the films, and on-demand access to the online short films, non-HBO subscribers will be able to view the films when they are broadcast as HBO's local affiliates are removing the subscription requirement for the week of May 14, giving access to non-subscribers.

Community and state programs may opt to host opinion leader screening events that will help engage community and state decision makers, leaders, elected officials and local media.  Programs may also opt to advance their community mobilization activities by hosting a screening with coalition members, community and state activists and others positioned to implement programs and strategies.  Event planning materials, discussion guides and other helpful information to host a screening event will be included in the screening kits.

-Story by CDC