Weight of the Nation Series, Featuring School Meals, to Premiere This Week

(May 11, 2012) This week, HBO will launch the Weight of the Nation series, part of a broad public health campaign and partnership between HBO, the Institute of Medicine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and others.

The four part series premieres on HBO, and will stream free of charge on HBO.com, starting Monday, May 14.  The “Children in Crisis” episode, featuring school meals, airs Tuesday, May 15 at 8:00pm Eastern.  For complete show times and more information, visit http://theweightofthenation.hbo.com/.   HBO is heavily promoting the series through social media and has sent 40,000 screening kits to community groups throughout the country.

While the project has sparked an important dialogue about the challenge of childhood obesity and opportunities for schools to contribute to the solution, the “Children in Crisis” episode features a misleading portrayal of the state of school meals in America.  School Nutrition Association contacted HBO to express concerns and share facts about the healthy choices available in school cafeterias.  Click here to read SNA’s letter.

SNA members are encouraged to help provide a fair and balanced representation of school nutrition programs by sharing the good news about school meals.  Now is a great time to contact parents, teachers and community members to tell them about the healthy changes in America’s school cafeterias.  

SNA has a number of resources to assist members in promoting their programs.  First, enter your member login information at the top left corner of our website, and then click on the following links for community outreach ideas, and talking points on healthy school meals, new nutrition standards and the HBO series specifically.  SNA has also provided a sample letter to parents on how school meals will meet new standards this fall.  

A complete New Meal Pattern PR Toolkit is coming soon to help members promote their programs at back-to-school time – a critical time as HBO will air a separate series this fall titled the Weight of the Nation “for Kids.”  Although HBO is not heavily promoting this second series at this time, they will air the first episode, “The Great Cafeteria Takeover” on Wednesday, May 16 at 7:00pm Eastern.  This half hour episode features a group of students in New Orleans who “are determined to bring healthier (and tastier) options to their district’s school cafeterias.”  SNA will provide information about this follow-up series as it becomes available.


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