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February 8th, 2013
12:05 PM ET

How much should media discuss health of public figures? Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz and Lauren Ashburn weigh in

It's not exactly a secret that New Jersey governor Chris Christie has long struggled with his weight. All the talk about his size heated up after he did this very funny appearance on Letterman where Christie whipped a doughnut out of his pocket and started munching on it.

"The Wall Street Journal" discussed the "politics of Christie's weight." "The Washington Post" wrote that "Chris Christie chews the fat about his weight." "Huffington Post" asks "Can you be obese and healthy?"

And it got so intense that when a former White House doctor told Jim Acosta that she was worried that Chris Christie would die in office, the governor went at her and told her to "shut up."

This morning on "Starting Point," Howard Kurtz, host of CNN's "Reliable Sources" and Newsweek/DailyBeast Washington bureau chief, and Daily Download editor-in-chief Lauren Ashburn discuss whether it's appropriate to examine Christie's weight in the media.

Filed under: Obesity
June 1st, 2012
11:53 AM ET

Coca-Cola rep on NYC sugary drink ban, says public health is important but obesity also 'about the diet'

Critics say New York City Mayor Bloomberg is declaring war on sugary drinks with a new plan to limit sales of beverages over 16 ounces. But the city's health commissioner, Dr. Thomas Farley, says the research shows this may be a plan that could help the city's rising obesity rate.

"There are a number of studies done over the last few years that demonstrate people are influenced by the portion sizes given to them," Farley says. "If you give people twice as much they'll consume more and won't notice and feel any different about it. If you give people a 16 ounce cup they'll probably consume less. I think the studies suggest this would have a big impact."

Mayor Bloomberg downplayed the impact on MSNBC, saying the plan wouldn't take away one's right to buy a soda in a supermarket, which the city doesn't have the power to regulate.

To respond to this new plan, Coca-Cola's vice president of science and regulatory affairs Dr. Rhona Applebaum repsonds to the proposed ban.

Filed under: Obesity
May 15th, 2012
12:10 PM ET

"The Good Food Revolution:" Basketball prodigy turned urban farmer Will Allen discusses new book

"Never say never" is a phrase that Will Allen freely uses to describe his life. A sort of prodigal son, Allen left his farming roots behind after highschool to become the first African-American basketball player at the University of Miami. While on a professional team in Belgium, he took a morning to help plant potatoes on a teammate's farm.

"Once I touched the soil, something really came alive, I really wanted to start growing food again," he says. "I must have had some hidden passion."

Since then, Allen has taken that passion and turned it into a lifestyle. He is currently the director of urban farming project "Growing Power" west of Milwaukee, and he discusses with Brooke Baldwin the dire state of the nation's eating habits and his hopes for a national return to healthy, homegrown food.

He cites statistics from HBO's "Weight of the Nation" 4-part documentary, the first two segments of which aired last night. "We're in a situation now where obesity is at an all-time high," he explains.

In his new book, he details his so-called "Good Food Revolution" - a farming movement, he says, which has indeed reached the revolution stage and is something he fervently hopes to pass on to later generations.

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Filed under: Health • Obesity
May 14th, 2012
11:22 AM ET

HBO documentary 'Weight of the Nation' looks at America's battle with obesity – book co-authors explain

The numbers are startling: 34% of Americans are obese - not just overweight, but obese. That number is expected to grow to 42% by the year 2030.

A new book and documentary are working to issue a wake up call. It's called "Weight of the Nation" with the four-part series airing tonight on HBO.

This morning, HBO Documentary Films vice president John Hoffman and the Institute of Medidine's Dr. Judity Salerno explain why obesity is not a 'failure of personal will' as some believe, but a crisis where everyone has to take responsibility to solve it.

Learn more about "Weight of the Nation" here.

Filed under: Obesity
May 8th, 2012
12:25 PM ET

Sanjay Gupta weighs in on study claiming 42% of Americans to be obese by 2030, says numbers could have been higher

CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta on interpreting a new study that claims 42% of Americans will be obese by 2030.

Filed under: Obesity