'The Weight of the Nation' doc features Tulane doc

As Tulane cardiologist Dr. Gerald Berenson knows all too well, the obesity epidemic is one of the most pressing health issues facing the nation today. More than two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese, while nearly one-third of the nation’s children and adolescents are overweight or obese. Berenson and his groundbreaking Bogalusa Heart Study will be featured in a new, four-part HBO documentary series.


The HBO series is part of one of the most
far-reaching public health campaigns on the obesity
epidemic, with nationwide outreach to more than
40,000 community-based organizations.

HBO collaborated with the Institute of Medicine, in association with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, for “The Weight of the Nation.” The series takes an unflinching look at the severity of the crisis and its crippling effects on the healthcare system.

“The Weight of the Nation” kicks off with “Consequences,” debuting on Monday (May 14). “Consequences” examines the scope of the obesity epidemic and explores the serious health consequences of being overweight or obese. “Consequences” includes a look at the community in Bogalusa, La., home of the historic NIH-funded Bogalusa Heart Study, the first investigation to link early childhood weight problems with adult heart disease.

“We had been in the study [of schoolchildren] five or six years, when we clearly established that heart disease begins in childhood,” Berenson says. “What clinched our information was doing an autopsy study.”

The Tulane Prevention Research Center is hosting a free community screening of part of the documentary series, “Children in Crisis,” followed by a discussion session on May 17, 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Ochsner Medical Center Auditorium (Monroe Hall), 1514 Jefferson Hwy, New Orleans. Free parking will be offered in the Ochsner garage and snacks will be provided. This screening is presented in partnership with the New Orleans Health Department, Louisiana Public Health Institute, Ochsner Medical Center, Louisiana Action for Healthy Kids, AARP and Trinity Christian Community. For more information, contact Naomi King at


 May 10, 2012


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