Village on a Diet puts Canada's obesity epidemic on CBC TV

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      The first week of January usually sees a spike in gym membership enrollments, but how many people actually stick to their resolution of exercising more and losing weight throughout the year? The CBC is launching an in-depth multiplatform focus on the health of Canadians called Canada Weighs In, which airs on CBC TV, CBC News Network, CBC Radio, and from January 2 to January 6.

      Tonight sees the premiere of Village on a Diet, a 10-episode documentary series airing Mondays at 9 p.m. The series follows the northern B.C. town of Taylor, where over 60 percent of its population is either overweight or obese. However, the town has decided to attempt to lose one collective ton in the next three months and have their struggles and successes documented on camera.

      In tonight's episode, viewers get to know the mining and forestry-driven town, which has a population of 1,400. Interviewees admit to eating a diet of mainly meat and potatoes and not getting much exercise during the cold winter months. A team of experts, including obesity specialist Dr. Ali Zentner, personal trainers Garfield Wilson and Mike Veinot, registered dietitian Maria Thomas, chef Jonathan Chovancek, and registered psychologist Adele Fox will help to try and turn this town around.

      To coincide with this series premiere, Zentner will be talking about Canada's obesity epidemic as well as the results of a health poll that was conducted exclusively for the CBC on CBC News Network.

      On Tuesday (January 4), the topic of sleep deprivation will be tackled on World Report and The National, followed by the rise in the number of Canadians who head to the Internet for diagnoses on Wednesday (January 5) on CBC News Network, World Report, World at Six, and The National. Then, on Thursday (January 6), Canada Weighs In will wrap up with an investigation on World Report, CBC News Network, and The National about whether sugar is the one to blame for the country's poor health.

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      2fat2fly On Twitter

      Jan 3, 2011 at 3:51pm

      What if all diets are forms of Eating Disorders? is addressing childhood obesity . Is food our next tobacco?

      Obese people are not the enemy.

      Thanks Paul


      Jan 4, 2011 at 1:17am

      I am soooo glad I found "Hypersonic Weight Loss"! I never knew planning and eating the many choices of meals could be fun.

      Vince Shank

      Jan 4, 2011 at 5:03am

      Wonder if they'll dare featuring any aboriginal people on that show, speaking of obesity epidemic. My guess is no...don't talk about it, don't do anything that may get people on track to at least address the issue, don't do anything that could result in work for anybody at the aboriginal affairs building on Melville-they're happy wandering around the building all day with a binder under their arm that never gets opened and a cup of coffee. Way to go, Canada!

      Dennis Raphael

      Jan 4, 2011 at 3:36pm

      Labonte, R. (1994) Death of a program: birth of a metaphor. In Rootman, I. (ed.) Health Promotion in Canada: Provincial, National and International Perspectives. Saunders, Toronto.

      "The argument was simple. The health of oppressed people (poor, women, persons from minority cultures, workers, and others) was determined at least as much, if not more, by structural conditions (poverty hazards, powerlessness, pollution, and so on) than by personal lifestyles. Moreover personal lifestyles were not freely determined by individual choice, but
      existed within social and cultural structures that conditioned and
      constrained behaviour. Behavioural health education, social marketing, or wellness approaches to health promotion fostered victim blaming by assuming that individuals were entirely responsible for their choices and behaviour. They also blamed the victim indirectly by ignoring the structural determinants of health, those causes that are embedded within economic, class- and gender-based patterns of social relationships.
      [(Labonte, 1994)", p. 79]

      M S

      Jan 7, 2011 at 9:40am

      I saw the show last night - good concept, but what was with the overzealous editing? It was very hard to watch - too many graphics, too much re-capping, the same scenes played over and over - It felt like I was watching one big, repetitive trailer for the show. The feel was very amateur, although I could tell they were going for ultra-slick. FAIL. There's plenty of good content there, the show might be watchable if the producer can take some Ritalin.

      And yes, we North Americans are fat and lazy, no doubt about it. Every village, town and city in North America should try to reproduce this. After watching that lady give cola to her 2 or 3 year old girl (who was already called obese by her doctor) it is evident that these people just don't have a clue how to eat properly. This show is a godsend for that town.


      Jan 10, 2011 at 10:47am

      Hated....yes hated the premise of this show. This is not the USA, this is Canada. Why do we have to copy what sells across the boarder? I watched only enough to know we are embarrassing ourselves emulating what they do,...we are not them. Having women shouted at when trying to exercise is just tv fodder and stooping to the lowest common denominator. Watch the programme on Alert Bay B.C. if you want to see how it's done Canadian style.


      Jan 11, 2011 at 4:02am

      "We are not them"? Talk about having a chip on your shoulder the size of one of those logs in the opening credits of "The Beachcombers"! Meanwhile the entire country follows fitness trends that originate in L.A. Oh, and spelling program "programme" doesn't make you more makes you more pretentious. You wouldn't happen to own a Cowichan sweater would you?

      Voytek Renn

      Jan 16, 2011 at 9:07pm

      Food has everything to do with it. You are fat because you eat fat, it is as simple as that.
      The China Study is the book to read, it is also on You Tube.

      Karen Leahy

      Feb 4, 2011 at 10:42am

      The 'Live Right' series is a great idea. Thanks, CBC for getting us to think more about our lifestyle choices. I agree with a previous comment, however, about the reality show hype of Village on a Diet. I'm also a little uncomfortable with what seems like the exploitation of people's emotions.

      Sandrine Deschamps

      Sep 7, 2011 at 2:02pm

      A good solution is to put everybody on this amazing program that change my life: Herbalife! I was overweight and it really helped me get back to an healthy weight withoiut taking it all back! People need to take control of their eating habits, and Herbalife really can help!
      Check it out and ask for a free consult: