June 11, 2012

On April 26th, Kaiser Permanente hosted a screening of one segment of Weight of the Nation, a documentary series that premiered on television in May. The series is a collaboration between HBO and the Institute of Medicine (IOM), in association with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and in partnership with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and Kaiser Permanente. Weight of the Nation highlights the variables that contribute to the obesity epidemic in this country, one of which is an unhealthy food system and the ways that food is produced, processed, marketed, and distributed. Lucia Sayre, SF Bay Area PSR Co-Director, commended the series for highlighting the link between nutrition and environmental health. Weight of the Nation highlights many of the healthy food issues SF Bay Area PSR addresses in the Healthy Food in Health Care campaign. The series features several of SF Bay Area PSR’s partnering organizations, including Health Care Without Harm (HCWH), as well as professionals and experts with whom HCWH works.

Approximately 500 people attended the Kaiser-hosted screening, which was held at the Oakland Museum and featured a panel discussion and Q&A session. Dr. Preston Maring, who works closely with SF Bay Area PSR, praised the chapter for its coordination of the regional produce sourcing project with Kaiser Permanente and the Community Alliance with Family Farmers. In the Q&A session, Dr. Bob Gould highlighted Dr. Jeff Ritterman, SF Bay Area PSR Vice-President, for his work introducing a soda tax in Richmond. Click here to view a video (scroll down to April 26 post) of the panel discussion and Q&A.

HBO has 40,000 kits available, including DVDs and accompanying materials, for people to host house parties where they can screen the documentary and stir up community conversation about healthy eating.