Boston Children’s expert appears in The Weight of the Nation documentary

Tonight at 8 pm, HBO will debut a four-part documentary series, The Weight of the Nation, an unflinching look at the severity of the obesity crisis in America, and its crippling effect on our nation’s health and economy.

HBO and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences have joined forces to bring together the nation’s foremost experts on weight and weight loss for a frank and educational look at obesity in America. The series explains how weight became such an issue in this country and provides answers for how we can get to a healthy weight by overcoming the forces that drive us to eat too much and move too little.

Elsie Taveras, MD, MPH

Boston Children’s Hospital’s Elsie Taveras, MD, MPH, is featured in the series, focusing on how obesity affects America’s children. As Co-Director of our One Step Ahead Program, Taveras knows how serious a problem obesity is for young people, and has advice for parents on how to turn the tide against the epidemic. Her advice couldn’t come at a better time. Did you know:

  • Childhood diabetes has increased ten-fold in the past 20 years.
  • Sugary drinks are a leading contributor to increasing obesity rates and children today drink 500 percent more soda than they did in the 1950s.
  • Kids see 10,000 food commercials a year, 95 percent of which sell fast food, soft drinks, candy or sugared cereals.
  • For every hour of TV a child watches, he increases his risk for obesity by 12 percent.

These are eye-opening statistics, but Taveras and her team at One Step Ahead are working hard to change things. Their program is designed to teach children and families about healthy lifestyle habits, and offers advice on how to make physical activity and healthy food choices part of their lives. Services include:

  • Answering questions about healthy activity and nutrition
  • Helping parents learn how to best manage their child’s weight
  • Providing families with ideas on how to be more active

If your child is struggling with weight loss and you are unsure of how to help, please use the following links to contact the experts at Boston Children’s One Step Ahead Program, or the team from New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center Boston Children’s Hospital.