Date:  July 20, 2012




'The Weight of the Nation' Films Garner Two Emmy Nominations


WASHINGTON — "The Weight of the Nation," a four-part documentary film series developed as part of a national obesity prevention campaign spearheaded by HBO and the Institute of Medicine in association with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and in partnership with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, and Kaiser Permanente, has been nominated for an Emmy award for Outstanding Nonfiction Series.  A companion short film titled "The Weight of the Nation for Kids: The Great Cafeteria Takeover" was nominated for an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Children's Nonfiction, Reality, or Reality-Competition Program.


The films offer viewers an unflinching look at the severity of America's obesity crisis and its impact on the nation and highlight the societal transformations needed to slow and eventually reverse the epidemic.  The films, which first aired May 14-15, 2012, launched a national campaign to spur action to reduce and prevent obesity.  The Weight of the Nation initiative also includes a companion book to the films, discussion guides, a website offering a trove of information and materials for community-based groups, and a robust social media campaign to spread awareness.


The films and other campaign materials were developed with the insights of the nation's leading health research institutions.  As multiple health studies show, extra pounds can be deadly; obesity contributes to five of the 10 leading causes of death in the United States, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, stroke, and kidney disease.  More than two-thirds of U.S. adults age 20 and older are overweight or obese and nearly one-third of the nation's children and adolescents carry excess weight. 


"These nominations offer gratifying recognition of the impact that The Weight of the Nation has had in raising public awareness of the consequences of obesity," said Judith A. Salerno, Leonard D. Schaeffer Executive Officer of the Institute of Medicine.  "The films and related campaign material show that there are numerous ways that we can overcome the causes of obesity and achieve healthier weights, but it's going to take collective action across all sectors of society.  We urge people to visit The Weight of the Nation website and to read IOM's related report Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation to learn more about effective strategies."


Since 2005, the IOM has called national attention to the obesity epidemic and the need for efforts by every sector and level of society to address the crisis.  IOM reports have recommended community, state, and national level strategies that have been shown to change environments in ways that increase healthy eating and physical activity.  Links to IOM's obesity-related reports are available online.



Established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine provides objective, evidence-based advice to policymakers, health professionals, the private sector, and the public.  The Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and National Research Council together make up the independent, nonprofit National Academies.  For more information, visit or  



Christine Stencel, Senior Media Relations Officer

Office of News and Public Information

202-334-2138; e-mail


#       #       #