University of South Carolina

Arnold School to screen HBO film on obesity epidemic Sept. 6

By Karen Petit, Arnold School of Public Health,

The documentary “Challenges” highlighting the obesity epidemic in the United States will be shown at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, at the Public Health Research Center auditorium at the University of South Carolina.

The screening of the documentary, the fourth film in the critically acclaimed HBO series “Weight of the Nation,” will include a panel discussion by local experts who are on the front lines of battling the problems of childhood and adult obesity.

The event at the Public Health Research Center, located at 921 Assembly St., is free and open to the public.

“Challenges” focuses on the major forces in the obesity epidemic, including agriculture, economics, racial and socioeconomic disparities, physical inactivity and the American food industry and marketing. The film also proposes solutions to this epidemic.

Sara Wilcox, director of the Arnold School of Public Health’s Prevention Research Center, said the program offers the community an opportunity to focus on local and statewide solutions.

“This event brings attention to one of the most pressing public health problems that our nation has faced. The cost of treating obesity-related diseases is more than $190 billion annually and also takes an enormous toll on individuals, families, employers and the health care industry,” Wilcox said. “In addition to giving people the chance to view this important documentary, our panel of experts will discuss local efforts to change the course of this disease.”

Amy Splittgerber of Eat Smart, Move More South Carolina said, “The documentary and discussion are being held during Childhood Obesity Awareness Month to give the public an opportunity to learn about local and statewide efforts to combat obesity and be engaged in the discussion of the challenges that we face and the solutions that are needed.”

“We hope that those attending will move ahead to make a difference within their own lives and in their larger communities and beyond.”

Nationally, nearly one-third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese, and two-thirds of adults have this problem.

Event sponsors include the Arnold School of Public Health, Eat Smart Move More South Carolina, Palmetto Health and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Other documentaries from the series will be screened at Palmetto Health Auditorium, 5 Medical Park. They include Part 2, “Choices,” Aug. 23 and Part 3, “Children in Crisis,” Aug. 30. Both will be shown 11:30 am – 1:00 pm. These events also are free and open to the public.

For information, call 803-777-4253 or email

News and Internal Communications

Posted: 08/17/12 @ 4:30 PM | Updated: 09/04/12 @ 11:00 AM | Permalink