Press Releases: Colorado
June 21, 2012
Kaiser Permanente Hosts Health Expo, Town Hall Discussion and Premiere of HBO’s The Weight of the Nation Series in Fort Collins
Public screening promotes education and conversation on obesity epidemic
FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Kaiser Permanente Colorado, in partnership with the Coalition for Activity and Nutrition to Defeat Obesity (CanDo), a program of University of Colorado Health, hosted the premiere of the new HBO documentary The Weight of the Nation in Fort Collins on Wednesday, June 20 as the nonprofit health plan continues its campaign to improve the health of its members and the communities it serves. More than 150 people from Northern Colorado communities attended the free Healthy Eating/Active Living Expo, screening and town hall discussion on the “Weight of Fort Collins.” Led by local health experts, the discussion focused on overcoming obesity and developing healthy living habits at home, school and the workplace. The community health event encouraged community members to explore ways they can help address the nation’s emerging health crisis.
The Weight of the Nation is a four-part documentary series, each episode featuring case studies and interviews with the nation’s leading experts and with individuals struggling with obesity. It was produced with the Institute of Medicine, in association with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, and in partnership with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and Kaiser Permanente. Kaiser Permanente’s Community Health Initiatives for Healthy Eating/Active Living support more than 40 obesity prevention collaboratives, which aspire to increase access to healthy food and opportunities for physical activity in schools, neighborhoods and workplaces. The Fort Collins screening featured the fourth part of the series, “Challenges,” which examines the challenges the U.S. is facing in its efforts to combat obesity as well as some success stories taking place in communities across the country.
Prior to the screening, 18 community organizations participated in a Healthy Eating/Active Living Expo, where attendees participated in various activities, received healthy snacks and were directed to local health resources and tips to prevent obesity. Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Program also presented the “It’s Your Health” game show during the Expo, which is an interactive game — developed in Colorado — featuring fun and energetic physical challenges.
Immediately following the documentary, local health experts led a discussion that focused on challenges to accessing fresh, healthy foods locally and how to create an environment that empowers everyone to choose a healthy diet and to exercise. These experts included Jandel Allen-Davis, MD, vice president of government and external relations for Kaiser Permanente Colorado; Virginia Clark, a registered dietician with CanDo; Sue Topolnicki, health and wellness specialist for Platte River Power Authority; Hill Grimmett, founder and director of Be Local Northern Colorado; and Jonathan Kary, MD, a family physician with Banner Health who has practiced in the Windsor community for a number of years. The town hall discussion concluded with Clark presenting an overview of 10 simple tips to prevent obesity that Northern Colorado residents can begin doing immediately.
“The Fort Collins Weight of the Nation screening event inspired attendees to create healthier lifestyles and to demand something better for our families and our communities,” said Dr. Allen-Davis. “Colorado has long been considered one of the healthiest states in the country, but our adult obesity rate has more than doubled since 1995. Here in Larimer County, 15 percent of residents are obese, including 23 percent of elementary school-age children. I encourage Coloradans to keep the momentum going in order to reverse the obesity epidemic and to improve the total health of our state and the rest of the nation.”
To view a live stream video of the Weight of Fort Collins town hall discussion, please visit https://new.livestream.com/kaiserpermanente/weightofthenation-fortcollins. For more information on Kaiser Permanente’s work in the community, visit www.kp.org/communitybenefit.
About Kaiser Permanente Colorado
Kaiser Permanente Colorado is the state’s largest nonprofit health plan, proudly working to improve the lives and health of Colorado residents for more than 40 years. Kaiser Permanente Colorado provides comprehensive health care services to more than 535,000 members through 24 medical offices and a network of affiliated hospitals and physicians. On Oct. 1, 2012 Kaiser Permanente will open two new medical offices in Fort Collins and Loveland. The health plan was named “Highest in Member Satisfaction” among Commercial Health Plans by J.D. Power and Associates for the fourth straight year. Kaiser Permanente was also recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as the top-ranked private health plan in Colorado, No. 6 in the nation and one of the top 3 Medicare plans in the U.S. In 2011, Kaiser Permanente proudly directed more than $90 million to community benefit programs to improve the health of all Coloradans. For more Kaiser Permanente news, visit kp.org/newscenter or follow us on twitter @kpcolorado or facebook.com/kpcolorado.