Weight of the Nation Reflection
We will be watching the documentary “Weight of the Nation”. The film can be viewed online at http://theweightofthenation.hbo.com/films. You will watch all four parts of the film (Part 1: Consequences; Part 2: Choices; Part 3: Children in Crisis; Part 4: Challenges). Write a reflection paper of at least three pages in font no larger than 12 point Times New Roman, 1-inch margins considering all of the following questions below. Submit your paper in the Weight of the Nation Reflection Paper link on Blackboard by the due date.
Questions to address in your paper:
1) What was your response to learning that obesity is linked to so many causes of death and disability?
2) How does the knowledge of obesity’s strong connection to several leading causes of death change your perception of obesity as a public health issue?
3) How are today’s lifestyles and eating habits different than those of your parents’ and grandparents’ era? How do you think these differences contribute to people being overweight or obese?
4) Hearing the very personal stories of people who are suffering as a result of conditions related to obesity, are you more of less sympathetic and why?
5) If you had to identify one single step as the start to your own program of healthy eating, what would it be?
6) Before seeing this film, what were your assumptions about the factors that have contributed to obesity? Did the film change your views?
7) What kinds of food options are available in your neighborhood? If you have to eat convenience foods or fast foods, what strategies could you use to limit your caloric intake?
8) Were you surprised to learn that there is a stark contrast in life expectancy between rich and poor neighborhoods? What factors do you think explain the disparity?
9) Are you aware of poor neighborhoods in your community that do not have a large grocery story nearby? How does that affect the communities?
10) What can your community do to make fruits and vegetables more available to low-income, underserved neighborhoods?
11) Do you see any parallels between where you live and the communities mentioned in the film? How is your community the same or different?
12) What are ways that you and your family could eat healthier? Are there ways you could increase the amounts of fruits and vegetables, as well as plant-based, protein-rich foods, in your diet?
13) Before watching this film, had you ever wondered why dollar menus, large portions and two-for-one specials were such a popular feature of fast food restaurants and how they could afford to sell an entire meal for $4 or $5? What do you think now that you may know the answer?
14) In retrospect, has the government’s farm policy been a good health policy?
15) Should the government adopt a policy that also favors the production of healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables – or at least creates a level playing field? Do you think that would create healthier options at more affordable pricing for you and your family?
16) What do you think of the locally grown, fresh food movement? Should communities and grocers support the development of more farms that sell their products locally?
17) Before watching the film, did you know that a farmer’s decision on what to grow was significantly influenced by government subsidies? Do you think that’s a good idea? What changes would you propose to increase the production of fresh fruits and vegetables?
18) What do you think of the parallel being drawn between food companies and tobacco companies?
19) Besides making healthy foods more affordable, what are other ways we can encourage people to eat healthier
20) Are food companies the villain here? Can we really expect them to voluntarily raise prices on unhealthy foods or stop selling them altogether?
21) How important is it to you and your family that your town or city has places to play, walk, run and/or bike? What are some additional steps that your community could take to combat obesity?
22) What barriers exist in your community that makes it more difficult for you and your family to be more physically active?
23) If you were given the opportunity to compete for the funding in your community on projects to fight obesity in your community, how would you propose to spend it?
24) If you wanted to make a change in your community that would make a big difference, what would that change be? Where would you start? Who could you work with to make it happen?