There is an obesity plague in America that costs the nation as much as
$147 billion -- and an untold number of lives -- every year. Nearly
two-thirds of American adults are either overweight or obese. Childhood
obesity is triple what it was a generation ago. Together, they add up to
a public health crisis that feeds a $60 billion industry of products,
services, diets and foods designed to help people lose weight.
correspondent Scott Wapner reports on the war on fat, with intimate
profiles of Americans struggling to overcome obesity, some of whom have
resorted to surgery. He takes viewers behind the scenes of a
pharmaceutical company developing a cutting-edge drug that could be a
medical and financial blockbuster, and goes inside a weight loss boot
camp called The Biggest Loser Resort – an enterprise that is helping
some lose pounds, and others make money.
The obesity crisis has
placed a crushing burden on the nation's healthcare system and has even
convinced some in the medical community that the current generation of
American children may be the first to have a shorter life expectancy
than their parents. In this CNBC original documentary, you'll see the
real cost of obesity, and find out who's profiting from it, too.
The numbers are devastating: $147 billion a year in costs. Well over 200
million Americans in danger. The single biggest health problem in
America today. Obesity has become nothing short of a public health
crisis. CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, takes viewers inside the war
on fat, where the waistline meets the bottom line in this look at a
problem that affects most American people and every American pocketbook.
CNBC presents "One Nation, Overweight," a CNBC Original reported by Scott Wapner.
The documentary goes to the frontlines of this national health and
economic crisis and through the incredible personal stories of Americans
desperate to lose weight, reveals some of the diverse ways the nation
is battling the bulge.
The one-hour documentary begins inside one
of the nation’s preeminent hospitals—the Cleveland Clinic—with the
powerful and emotional story of Henry Butler, an obese patient lying on
the operating table undergoing bariatric surgery. Butler is one of 12
million Americans considered severely obese, defined as more than 100
pounds overweight. Wapner speaks with Dr. Philip Schauer, the Director
of the Clinic's Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, a specialized unit
that performs the surgery of last resort on more than 500 patients each
year. Wapner also interviews Dr. Toby Cosgrove, the CEO of the Cleveland
Clinic, about his controversial statement that if he had his choice, he
would not hire obese people.
The obesity epidemic is acutely
felt among the nation’s youth, with nearly a third of American children
either overweight or obese. Many are threatened with the onset of
diabetes, and some medical experts warn that for the first time in the
history of our nation, this younger generation may be on track to have a
shorter life span than their parents. CNBC goes back to school to
examine the role the lunchroom plays in this national fight. Wapner
tours a Virginia high school where students regularly flock to a
school-sanctioned snack stand that sells a variety of candy and other
junk food as early as 9:30 a.m. He also visits a California school
struggling to offer healthier meals to a population raised in a culture
of junk food and junk food marketing.
CNBC takes cameras inside
the laboratories of Vivus, Inc., a cutting-edge pharmaceutical company
working to develop an anti-obesity drug that could, if approved, be a
financial blockbuster. CNBC also looks at the troubled history of
previous popular diet drugs.
The documentary provides an intimate
look at the Biggest Loser Resort at Fitness Ridge, a weight loss boot
camp in Southern Utah that is helping some lose pounds and others make
money. Despite fees of $2,000 per week, The Biggest Loser Ranch has a
seven-month waiting list and revenues topping $5 million a year. Many of
its guests are repeat customers, returning time and time again in an
effort to keep off the weight.
Employers have a big stake in
getting their workforce to lose weight and reduce the enormous costs in
medical claims and lost productivity linked to obesity. CNBC cameras go
inside Johnson & Johnson, and other companies big and small, that
are investing in their employees’ weight loss and seeing big returns.
Weitzner is the Senior Executive Producer of “One Nation, Overweight.”
Wally Griffith is the Senior Producer. Na Eng and Hakimah Shah are the
Producers. Ray Borelli is the Vice President of Strategic Research,
Scheduling and Long Form Programming.
Supersized Kids: Childhood Obesity
visit Revolution Foods, a start-up in Oakland, CA, that made $10
million last year by asking schools to re-think the standard school
lunch. The company provides healthy, organic, home-style meals made
locally from scratch.
Cutting out the Fat: Bariatric Surgery
million Americans are considered severely obese, defined as more than
100 pounds overweight. On any given Saturday morning at the Cleveland
Clinic, you’ll find a crowded room filled with patients attending
seminars on bariatric surgery.
The Skinny Business: Inside the Biggest Loser Resort
popular reality show The Biggest Loser is a worldwide phenomenon. It’s
become a standalone health and lifestyle brand. Meet the people who find
themselves at the Biggest Loser Resort at Fitness Ridge, a weight loss
destination in Utah.
In Search of the Next Weight Loss Drug
companies are anxious for FDA approval to bring the next big
blockbuster weight loss drug to market. Qnexa, made by Vivus Inc., is
one of three new obesity drugs before the FDA awaiting federal approval.
Shaping Up at Work: Costs of Obesity to Business Employers
have a big stake in getting their workforce to lose weight and reduce
the enormous costs in medical claims and lost productivity linked to
obesity. Recent studies show an impressive return on investment for
every dollar spent on prevention and wellness programs.