CPTV Begins Obesity Series March 26 with The High Cost of a Fat Future Town Meeting at 8 p.m.

Release Date: 03/23/2009

HARTFORD, Conn. –  For more than two decades, changes in American eating habits and the increasingly sedentary lifestyles of both adults and children have been gradually tipping the scales upward. Now obesity has reached epidemic levels throughout America, including in Connecticut. According to a 2005 report issued by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), more than half of Connecticut adults are either overweight or obese and 80 percent are not getting the proper exercise to maintain good health.

The High Cost of a Fat Future is the first feature presentation in CPTV’s The Impact Series: Obesity Initiative. Airing live on Thursday, March 26 at 8 p.m., the hour-long, town meeting-style program hosted by Diane Smith will examine the societal influences that play a role in contributing to the problem of obesity. The High Cost of a Fat Future will provide an interactive forum for viewers to submit their own questions and comments. Viewers can call 1-800-842-2788 during the show, or send an e-mail to fatfuture@cptv.org. Selected viewer input will be addressed live on the air during the broadcast.

The High Cost of a Fat Future also will be simulcast on cptv.org and WNPR (90.5 FM Hartford/New Haven, 89.1 FM Norwich/New London, 88.5 FM Stamford/Greenwich, 91.3 FM Southampton, NY and 99.5 FM Storrs).

Funding for The High Cost of a Fat Future town meeting was provided by Aetna.

Panelists for The High Cost of a Fat Future include Dr. Elizabeth Estrada, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine who treats children with diabetes at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center; Dr. Marlene Schwartz, deputy director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University; Dr. Margo Maine, clinical psychologist and author of The Body Myth; and Kim Bensen, author of Finally Thin and founder of Kim's Light Foods.

The societal influences that contribute to obesity range from the availability of cheap, highly processed food, to the widespread exposure to mass media messages about food choices, to the technological improvements that encourage adults and children to lead increasingly sedentary lifestyles. The effect of obesity-related health problems on healthcare costs and the racial and ethnic disparities within the state also will be discussed during The High Cost of a Fat Future.

At 9 p.m. on March 26, immediately following The High Cost of a Fat Future, CPTV will air Fat: What No One Is Telling You.  This two-hour public television documentary explores the myriad psychological, physiological and environmental factors of weight gain.

Obesity experts have a growing – and sobering – awareness of the complex human puzzle that is driving the nationwide obesity epidemic and creating so much personal pain in a society that worships “thin.” Fat: What No One Is Telling You will give viewers a window into the intense human dramas that rage inside people who have been labeled “obese,” and the difficulty of solving their weight problem.

About CPTV
CPTV is a media service of the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network (CPBN, www.cpbn.org). It is a locally and nationally recognized producer and presenter of quality public television programming, including UConn Women’s Basketball, original documentaries and educational programming. CPTV has built a reputation as a leader in children’s programming, including playing an historic role in bringing Barney & Friends™, Bob the Builder™ and Thomas & Friends™ to public television.  The station offers 11 hours of positive, nurturing children’s programs each weekday, reaching 50,000 to 70,000 households daily. The Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network also includes WNPR, an affiliate of National Public Radio, Public Radio International and American Public Media. WNPR serves over 200,000 listeners in Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island with news and information. Its award-winning local programming includes The Faith Middleton Show and Where We Live. Overall, the network brings a broad spectrum of public affairs, entertainment, sports and educational programming to viewers, listeners and readers. For more information, visit www.cptv.org and/or www.wnpr.org.

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