Hey, you like macaroni and cheese? How about stuffed-crust pizza? Cheese fries, and Cinnabon?
Most of us do, and the food merchants and fast-food chains of America have our numbers.
Over the past thirty years this country has seen an epidemic of weight-gain. One third of us are now obese, another third overweight, and most alarming, nearly a third of our kids are obese. Which means they’ll have diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, and more.
If this all sounds like stuff you already knew, I thought so too until I watched an advance copy of the documentary series The Weight of the Nation, which airs tonight and tomorrow night on HBO, and can be streamed free of charge at HBO.com.
There’s a fascinating story about how in recent decades we’ve adopted increasingly sedentary lifestyles just as the food industry has learned to produce and market lots of cheap stuff in huge portions that is mostly pretty bad for us.
I watched the documentaries so I could interview Kelly Brownell, one of the obesity experts for today’s Fresh Air.
I recommend the interview (today at 3 and 7 on 91FM), and the HBO documentaries.
Philadelphia’s mayor Michael Nutter appears in the films as someone who’s tried unsuccessfully to tax sugar-sweetened beverages. It’s hard to watch the documentaries and not see this as important public health measure, even though to a lot of people it seems as crazy as say, banning cigarette ads on TV or making tobacco companies put warnings on every pack of smokes – like that would ever happen.
And while I’m on the subject of our mayor, does anybody else find it weird that the man who stood tall for a soda tax today trumpeted the “Budweiser Made in America Music Festival”? He did (Word .docx file).