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HBO’s "Weight of the Nation": A New Solution to an Old Problem?

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Obesity.  We know the word.  We know more than a third of American's are obese.  We know that the United States is facing an epidemic.  And we know more energy out than calories in help us lose weight.

So, why after almost 30 years of American's weight ticking up the scale has it suddenly called for a national campaign to change?

On Monday, HBO is debuting their four-part series called Weight of the Nation.  A collaborative effort with the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Institutes of Medicine, the series focuses on different issues surrounding the epidemic: consequences, choices, children in crisis and challenges.

Interesting facts from the documentary:

-- One out of five kids drink three or more sugar-sweetened beverages per day, accounting for an extra meal.

-- Less than 1 percent of Americas meet the criteria for ideal cardio-vascular health.

-- One in four adults get no physical activity.

-- Obesity costs $70 billion to American business in lost productivity.

-- Profit margin for soft drinks is 90 percent.  Profit margin for produce is 10 percent.

In viewing the films, one thing that stands out is the attempt to change the conversation about obesity.

"If you were told that your child is at risk for cancer, that would get your attention.  If you were told well, your child is at risk for some sort of brain disease -- that would get your attention," NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins said in the series.  "Well, Obesity ought to be on that list."

"If we all don't now take this as an urgent national priority, we are all of us individually and as a nation going to pay a really serious price," Collins said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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