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A new television documentary explores the numerous emotional, physical and environmental factors that make the weight loss journey difficult.

PBS’s "Fat: What No One Is Telling You," opens up the obesity problem at a personal level.

People who are considered severely obese, weighing 100 pounds or more over a healthy range, are the fastest-growing group of overweight people in the United States, researchers reported on Monday, up 50 percent since 2000.

"The proportion of people at the high end of the weight scale continues to increase at a brisk rate despite increased public attention on the risks of obesity and the increased use of drastic weight loss strategies such as bariatric surgery," said Roland Sturm, an economist at Rand Corporation, a nonprofit research institute.

People who do not understand the difficulties of weight loss view obesity as a character flaw, a lack of willpower, or even an intelligence issue. Battling intense desires to eat, weight-induced health problems and social humiliation aren't always understood or sympathized by others who demand, “Just eat less!”

In the program, narrated by the "Today" show's Meredith Vieira, new scientific knowledge about hunger, eating, and human metabolic operation is shared. The documentary also explains our mental responses to food, and shows how media encourages the over-consumption of food, revealing what makes fighting fat so difficult, both on the personal and national levels.

“Fat” uses personal narratives by people fighting to get fit who use any combination of diet, exercise, increased education, and surgery. Experts will also be included in the documentary. America Bracho a public-health professional in Santa Ana, California, and clinician Dr. Lee Kaplan of Harvard University Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital will provide input.

The program premieres tomorrow, April 11, on PBS at 9pm Eastern Standard Time.

>> “Fat: What No One is Telling You” info
>> LA Times Review

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