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Obesity is a complex health condition, often involving psychological, biological, and cultural components, or a mix of all three. For example, a person might have a medical condition or family history putting them at higher risk of obesity. When these factors combine with an inactive lifestyle and an unhealthy diet, the result is weight gain. Carrying too much extra weight can have a variety of health consequences, like higher risk for diabetes, heart disease, and osteoarthritis.
Many Americans find it hard to maintain a healthy weight. Obesity rates in the United States have been steadily rising since the 1970s. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one third, or 36.5 percent, of U.S. adults are considered to be obese. For children, 17 percent between the ages of 2 to 19 are considered to be obese.
To help people develop healthy diet and exercise habits, it’s important to provide educational tools. These videos shed light on different aspects of obesity, including raising awareness, covering the latest research, and offering advice and support.
This videographic by the AFP news agency defines obesity and explains current statistics. It’s designed to be informative and call attention to the role of obesity in premature death, citing several health conditions brought on by it.
PBS Food follows 11-year-old Anthony Scavotto on his journey, from finding out he’s obese to learning how to change his habits. Scavotto and his mom thought they were making healthy food choices, but he’d gained 30 pounds in one year. This short documentary-style video highlights childhood obesity and the dangers type 2 diabetes presents.
Will New Food Label Help Fight Obesity?
Hosts Cenk Uygur, John Iadarola, and Jimmy Dore of the online news network The Young Turks break down changes coming to nutrition labels. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is in the process of redesigning them to make it easier for people to get the information they need to eat healthy. One of the major changes is listing added sugars. This video explains the science and politics behind telling consumers exactly what’s in their food.
How Food Processing Has Changed Our Eating Environment
Ever wonder what the term processed foods means? In this free online class by Maya Adam, MD, you’ll learn how and why grocery store foods are highly processed. She also explains a different way to look at your food choices for healthier eating.
The Way Americans Eat
A panel of experts on Vice News’ The Business of Life debate the reasons behind the obesity epidemic and what can or should be done to help, focusing heavily on the economic aspects of the food industry. If you’d like to learn more about GMOs, food deserts, and the role that low income plays in obesity, this is a good place to start.
Fixing the Childhood Obesity Epidemic
Matt Young is a strong advocate of fitness and the founder of Innovative Fitness. In his TED Talk, Young describes the decline of physical activity during childhood and how it contributes to obesity. He believes that our culture surrounding exercise, physical education, and school sports needs an overhaul. And he has several suggestions for positive changes.
Derek Mitchell Ran 20+ Races to Fight Obesity
Derek Mitchell decided to fight obesity by committing to running one 5k per month. At 625 pounds, it wasn’t an easy start — but the rewards were worth it. Mitchell lost 80 pounds, ran over 20 races, and inspired many fans through his progress. The video by AJ+ shows highlights from his journey.
I’m Fat, But I’m Not...
In this Buzzfeed original, five people who describe themselves as fat also share their other traits. The body positive message focuses on being proud of yourself and loving the body you’re in. It also helps to combat negative stereotypes, like the notion that they can’t also be athletic.
Preventing Childhood Obesity
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) uses one family’s story of making lifestyle changes as an example of the benefits of healthy diet and exercise. One mother describes how she and her two daughters began cooking healthy meals and getting more activity instead of eating out. As she tells her story, the president of the AAP explains the organization’s recommendations and why they’re important. The family’s story helps you look beyond statistics to see how healthy changes affect people directly.
S.A.F.E. Changes: Reducing the Heavy Burden of Childhood Obesity
Obesity comes with both physical and emotional health risks. When heavy weight gain starts in childhood, you carry these through adulthood. The videographic by the Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health (IHDCYH) in Canada illustrates the burden of childhood obesity. They then introduce S.A.F.E. Changes, an acronym to help you remember positive lifestyle changes to reduce obesity.
Is Body Shaming Helpful?
YouTubers Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown look at the evidence for body shaming. They discuss studies showing why shaming is harmful and how it actually doesn’t help people lose weight. Both of them stress the fact that compassion is key to helping someone get healthier and encourage viewers and those with a public voice to use their influence for good.
Obesity Through the Eyes of a Loved One
In her TEDx Talk, Dana Marie Rosser addresses the weight carried by loved ones who care for people with obesity. Rosser is a wife and mother whose husband had morbid obesity from the beginning of their relationship. After realizing she was feeling isolated, Rosser reached out for help. Her talk encourages others who love someone with obesity to practice self-care, find a support system, and talk to their loved one about their worries using compassion and care.
Fast Food, Fat Profits: Obesity in America
Obesity in America is deeply linked to poverty. In an episode of “Fault Lines” by Al Jazeera, host Josh Rushing explores why so many people in the United States are obese and how this came to be. The short documentary explains the history of American food policy and how it’s contributed to a market flooded with fast foods that are more affordable than healthy foods.
The Weight of the Nation: Poverty and Obesity
HBO Documentary teams up with the Institute of Medicine, the CDC, and the National Institutes of Health to explain why so many Americans are obese. Obesity is especially high in low-income neighborhoods because produce and other healthy food sources aren’t available. The documentary presents data to back up these claims and a case for how to change it.
Obesity Is Ridiculously Deadly
The Young Turks hosts Ana Kasparian, Francis Maxwell, and Mark Thompson explain a study from The New England Journal of Medicine, which found that there’s been a steady increase in obesity worldwide since the 1980s. Kasparian also stresses research finding that poor diet — not inactivity — is the main contributor to obesity. The hosts discuss how political policy and lack of education play a role in the growing health epidemic.
6 Things Only Fat People Understand
A man and women each describe common social experiences that overweight people encounter. The Ranker video is lighthearted, but still brings attention to issues someone who’s never been overweight wouldn’t understand —like having to pay attention to elevator weight limits. It’s relatable to someone who’s obese or overweight, and informative to someone who isn’t.
Who's Responsible for Childhood Obesity?
Hosts of “This Morning” on ITV moderate a debate on who should assume responsibility for childhood obesity. Are parents responsible or should governments be creating protective legislation? An obese mom and fitness guru present a case for each side.