The Weight of the Nation is in Our Hands | Playworks

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The Weight of the Nation is in Our Hands

Changes need to be made for the health of our children and our future.
May 22, 2012

There’s no question there needs to be changes in our society to prevent diabetes, heart disease, liver disease and more due to inactivity and poor nutrition. We are gaining weight far beyond what our bodies can handle, and without major changes, our children just might live shorter lives than ourselves.

HBO and the Institute of Medicine joined forces to create a four part series called “The Weight of the Nation.” In the documentary (viewing available online), they address the many factors of our growing waistlines. There’s no question that this problem is complex and the solutions are are not easy. Dozens, perhaps hundreds, of human genes affect how our bodies consume food. The nature of food has changed with industrialization. Technology, city streets and many other factors have caused a decrease in daily physical activity. This is not an individual problem, this is a societal problem.

We need to come together as a community to address these underlying issues. There are many who are already doing just this. We're proud to be in the company of organizations with shared commitments to improve our children's health. Groups like the Healthy Schools Campaign who support nutrition in schools, the Edible Schoolyard Project who facilitates community gardening, SCORES, the YMCA and ChildObesity180 that promote physical activity in out of school programs, Positive Coaching Alliance and Coaching Corps who support children through organized sports, and more. We all share a desire to change our society by supporting our future--the kids. By addressing inactivity and poor nutrition at both the adult and childhood levels, we may just begin to see a shift in society to produce healthy communities and individuals.

What are you doing to improve the health of our communities?