The final screening of the ‘Weight of the Nation’ was held at Savannah’s Southwest Library last week, as a cross section of the community came together to see this very stirring film and to continue the conversations about food, nutrition, health and how to overcome the obesity epidemic in our community. An epidemic which leads to a vast population suffering from heart disease, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, stroke, and kidney disease. These are just a few of the diseases associated with obesity, and tend to dramatically increase as obesity rates increase.
In the United States, 68 percent of adults ages 20 and older are overweight or obese. In Chatham County 35 percent of children and adolescents ages 2-19 years old are obese.
‘Children In Crisis’, screened in August, at the Coastal Georgia Center was the local premier. This film “Challenges”, part four in the series outlined the efforts of a community in Nashville, as they created parks, the ‘walking school bus’, more sidewalks and bike paths, and brought fresh food vendors into urban neighborhoods for children and families to start on the path to a healthy life.
Eating more fresh foods, eliminating fast foods, packaged and processed foods, junk and snack foods, from our diet, and by cooking and eating together as a family, we re-train and embrace new behaviors, important in learning new ways of living.
After viewing this moving film the conversation was lively indeed as attendees discussed the changes, we as a community can make, to insure the health of our most important resource, our children.
Reviewing the HBO evaluations filled out by the attendees, 98% said that they learned something new about health and obesity, while 92% said that they are – motivated to change behaviors – after watching the documentary.
Written comments by the attendees included the desire for: a walk-a-thon with Mayor Jackson, that the documentary be shown in the school system, more personal trainers and a fitness support group, and more nutrition classes in the community.
Support for the screening of the first film was so great that we continued the series after “Children in Crisis”. We have all of Savannah to thank for the successful run of the “Weight of the Nation”, including Memorial Medical Center for the use of Hoskins Center, the beautiful historic Beach Institute Museum, and the Live Oak Libraries – Southwest Chatham Library, for hosting us in such beautiful venues.
This event was wholly sponsored by members of the Savannah Community who gave heartily to bring this project together. The first to come to the table were Mrs. William Summerell who encouraged the pursuit, and Brighter Day Natural Foods who flat out said “We Will Support You”. Without these two, we never could have taken on this project. Then, many others came to the table with support and are being honored with very special certificates for their participation.
Brighter Day Bail Bonding Co, Adams Funeral Services, DayClean Journey’s – African History Tour Co, WellFED Magazine, and SmartFeet Shoes, were the major sponsors along with many others who gave door prizes and in-kind services. The Panelist for the discussion are all health and wellness superstars in their own right included Rene’ Teran, Larry Rivers, Peter Brodhead, CN, Paula Kreissler, MBA, David Davies, DC, Carol Kirchner, C.Ped, Cristina Gibson, Robert Skiljan, and Dr. J.W. Jamerson, lll. We gratefully thank them all.
THE WEIGHT OF THE NATION was three years in the making, and spotlights the facts and myths of this urgent public health issue, showing how obesity affects the health of children, families, our nation, our work force and our health care system. It is an important film, If you’ve not seen it, go to www.HBO.com it truly will take all of us to make a difference, for our future!
Contact Carolyn Guilford, nutritionist and wellness advocate at P O Box 2814 -Savannah, GA 31402, or call 912 236-8987. Visit Carolyn@healthrestoration101.com. Her books are also available on Amazon.com in Kindle format.