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Dr. Mike Evans is founder of the Health Design Lab at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto, and a staff physician at St. Michael's Hospital. He developed a series of short health-related white board animations. Millions of people enjoy watching his fun hand-drawn images.

Introduction

Let's Make Our Day Harder

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The "Weight of the Nation" is a four-part documentary series that highlights the consequences of obesity for the health of individuals and for the health care system.

Consequences

The first film in The Weight of the Nation series examines the scope of the obesity epidemic and explores the serious health consequences of being overweight or obese.

Choices

For all the remarkable high-tech tools available to medicine, for all the billions of dollars in drug research, there's still no highly effective medication to prevent or reverse obesity – why?

Children in Crisis

Some experts fear this may be the first generation of American children who will have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.

Challenges

The final film of the series examines the origins and severity of the obesity epidemic, examines its major driving forces and looks at opportunities for communities to fight back.

TThis 3-part film documents how real kids have played an important role in promoting better food choices, investing in the health of their communities, and in changing attitudes about being healthy.

The Great Cafeteria Takeover

This film follows a group of students from New Orleans as they work to make a difference in their community by changing their cafeteria's menu. These Rethinkers revamp their school's kitchen to include great tasting, healthier options.

Kebreeya's Salad Days

After seeing how diseases like asthma and diabetes have impacted the lives of people around her, Kebreeya begins to avoid fast food and soda, inspiring her family members to think about their health habits as well. Kebreeya works in her community to start a garden, as well as collaborates with other students to design and promote a salad bar option to school-board officials.

Quiz Ed!

The final film in the 3-part series helps children identify and test nutrition and physical activity knowledge. Using real kids, this film explores some of the reasons children don't exercise, as well as how they worked through it.

To reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes:

  • Keep weight in the normal range
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Eat chicken and fish and limit red meats
  • Bake, poach, steam, and broil instead of frying

5-2-1-0 recommendations:

5 fruits and vegetables…more matters! Eat fruits and vegetables at least 5 times a day. Limit to 100% fruit juice.

2 cut screen time (TV, computers, video games) to 2 hours or less a day.

1 participate in at least one hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day.

0 restrict soda and sugar-sweetened sports and fruit drinks. Instead, drink water and 3-4 servings/day of fat-free/skim or 1% milk.

The national child obesity epidemic is especially serious in Tennessee, which receives a grade of "F" on the national "Report Card: State Efforts to Control Childhood Obesity". The epidemic must be fought on several fronts, and we believe that a tool that's quick, easy to use, and readily available will increase awareness about the problem and community resources to combat it.

FAQ

What is BMI?
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a child's weight and height. BMI is a reliable indicator of body fatness for most children and teens. BMI does not measure body fat directly, but research has shown that BMI correlates to direct measures of body fat, such as underwater weighing and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). BMI can be considered an alternative for direct measures of body fat. Additionally, BMI is an inexpensive and easy-to-perform method of screening for weight categories that may lead to health problems.For children and teens, BMI is age- and sex-specific and is often referred to as BMI-for-age.1
What is a BMI Percentile?
After BMI is calculated for children and teens, the BMI number is plotted on the CDC BMI-for-age growth charts (for either girls or boys) to obtain a percentile ranking. Percentiles are the most commonly used indicator to assess the size and growth patterns of individual children in the United States. The percentile indicates the relative position of the child's BMI number among children of the same sex and age. The growth charts show the weight status categories used with children and teens (underweight, healthy weight, overweight, and obese).BMI-for-age weight status categories and the corresponding percentiles are shown in the following table.1

Underweight | 0 - 4th Percentile

Healthy Weight | 5th - 84th Percentile

Overweight | 85th - 94th Play the lunchroom game!

Obese | 95th or greater percentile

References

1 "About Body Mass Index for Children and Teens." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13 Sept. 2011. Web. 19 May 2013.