One-Hour Documentary Reported by CNBC’s Scott Wapner Premieres on Tuesday, May 18th at 10PM ET/PT
ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., May 3, 2010—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.
On Tuesday, May 18th at 10PM ET/PT, 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.
For more information including web extras, slideshows and extended video clips, log on to: overweightnation.cnbc.com.
Mitch Weitzner is the Senior Executive Producer of “One Nation, Overweight.” Wally Griffith is the Senior Producer. Ray Borelli is the Vice President of Strategic Research, Scheduling and Long Form Programming.
CNBC’s “One Nation, Overweight” will re-air on Friday, May 21st at 10PM ET, Saturday, May 22nd at 7PM ET and Sunday, May 23rd at 10PM ET.
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