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The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

The Weight of the Nation

Did you know that kids who have access to a salad bar at school consume three times the fruits and vegetables as kids in schools without a salad bar?*  That’s why we think salad bars are just about one of the best changes a school can make to their school lunch program. And the benefits don’t stop there.  Salad bars give kids a choice.

A healthy choice. 

In the school setting kids are more apt to explore foods they haven’t tried before — especially if one of their friends or someone they look up to makes a new or different choice. Whole Kids Foundation® is incredibly excited to partner with HBO to help kids create lifelong healthy habits. 

Every few years HBO profiles a pressing public issue and this spring the topic is obesity in America.  The multi-part The Weight of the Nation series airs on Monday, May 14 and Tuesday May 15, exclusively on HBO with two films airing back-to-back each night starting at 8:00 pm.  Interested? Take a peek at the trailer.

The Great Cafeteria Takeover, the first of three documentary films in The Weight of the Nation for Kids series debuts the next day on Wednesday, May 16 at 7:00 pm. In addition to raising awareness and educating viewers about the obesity epidemic in the US, HBO wanted to do something significant to make a difference. 

Realizing that good nutrition is key to a healthy mind and body, they partnered with Whole Kids Foundation to grant 100 salad bars to schools across America by September 2012. On May 1, HBO and their partners hosted school events in 12 cities to kick off their campaign.

Whole Kids Foundation team members joined in by celebrating with a school district who is receiving their very first salad bar (Baltimore, MD) and with another district for which this gift means that all of their schools now have a salad bar (New Haven, CT).  From Philadelphia to Lakewood, Colorado; from New Orleans to New York City, these school salad bars mean that more than 50,000 children will have access to a salad bar 175 days each year!

Tune in to The Weight of the Nation — available on HBO GO and all HBO Platforms.  It’s also available to watch at HBO.com. For more information about salad bars in schools, including how your school can apply for a grant, visit www.saladbars2schools.org

Whole Kids Foundation is proud to be a sustaining member of Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools. Will you be tuning in?

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William L. Wilson, M.D. says …

Although “The Weight of a Nation” focuses a light on a serious national health crisis, I agree with Gary Taubes that this effort will be unsuccessful because it focuses on the same old tired remedies for obesity that clearly are not working—reducing calories and increasing physical activity. Let me explain. Although consuming excessive calories can cause you to store more fat, calories are not the actual cause of excessive fat storage. If you eat the right kinds of food you can consume a broad range of calories without storing extra fat. Our current obesity epidemic is driven by the consumption of two food elements: excessive fructose mainly from sucrose (sugar) and high fructose corn syrup and high glycemic carbohydrates mainly from grains. It is now clear that excessive fructose is the primary driver of insulin resistance and central obesity. When you have insulin resistance and consume high glycemic carbohydrates your brain is subjected to magnified glucose spikes. Because high levels of glucose are toxic to nerve cells, over time these glucose spikes trigger a chronic brain disorder called Carbohydrate Associated Reversible Brain syndrome or CARB syndrome. Because the brain plays a critical role in auto-regulating total body fat stores people with CARB syndrome begin to store extra fat even as they lose lean body mass from dieting. Thus a calorie is not a calorie. To solve our obesity epidemic we need to change the type of food people are eating. Learn more at http://carbsyndrome.com.

Karen says …

This is an awesome idea and I love it. Problem? I don't have HBO, you have to have a pay channel that is geared primarily to adults to plug better nutrition at school? This should be on mainstream television.

Megan says …

@Karen HBO will be making the series available on HBODocs Youtube channel starting tonight. Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/HBODocs

Rachel says …

Wow, that's wonderful. Looking forward to watching this!

Jenn B says …

I'm very excited about this! It's our job as adults to help the well-being of children-- the next generation! I will be sharing this information with my son's school. Thank you!

Donna Oldham says …

Yes, I will be watching your program on tv or on HBO.com I think that is a great idea. I wish that all schools could receive a grant for salad bars. Thanks for bringing awareness about this and also thanks to Whole Foods as well. I will check to see if my kid's school have a salad bar. Thanks So Much, Mrs. Donna Oldham-Mother of 3 Teenager's :)

Lori says …

I think this is great, but pathetic that our govt will not provide for this already!!! They don't bat an eye when they make millions of bombs, guns, tanks, etc.. Schools should not have to beg, plead, and sell a kidney just to be allowed to feed kids food that isn't highly processed flavored corn, soy, fat & salt!