Obesity Should Not Be A Hollywood Punchline

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obesityDr. Myo Nwe, author of the new weight loss book of 2015, “Fat-Me-Not: Weight Loss Diet of the Future,” says films and television programs do a disservice to the viewers by avoiding the real subject matter when overweight characters are usually played for laughs. She asks for a call to action from television program to take obesity more seriously and treat it as a disease, an issue she discusses in her new book.

Dr. Myo Nwe is the co-author of a new weight loss book “Fat-Me-Not: Weight Loss Diet of the Future” and co-founder of the Ace Medical Weight Loss Center in Rock Hill, SC. In her book, Dr. Nwe takes a broad look at the industry of weight loss, and how several fad diets cannot hold up under scientific scrutiny. On film and in television shows, however, she says the topic of obesity is usually emphasized mostly toward the social aspects and played for basic laughs, which she believes impacts whether Americans view it as a serious health concern.

“It’s rare to see weight management dealt with in an honest way,” Dr. Nwe says. “Most of the time heavier characters play secondary roles where their size is just another quirky attribute.

“Where are the storylines dealing with diabetes or heart problems?” she asks. “I know that’s not exactly sitcom material, but it’s noticeably absent from the dramas as well.”

Dr. Nwe says she understands that the entertainment industry has separate goals from healthcare providers, but she feels that the failure to address obesity in the popular arts points to a disconnection with real life problems.

“I always recommend a healthier diet to my patients,” Dr. Nwe explains. “And that includes their TV diet. Unfortunately, most of what’s on the menu is junk food.”

The doctor says she would like to see more shows that “edutain” on the topic—both informing viewers of the real issues of obesity, while also fun to watch.

“The subject doesn’t have to be a sad one,” Nwe adds. “Working in weight management, I see some of the most positive and inspiring experiences imaginable, especially when people stand up and meet the challenge.”

In her new book “Fat-Me-Not,” Dr. Nwe examines the many myths and misconceptions associated with weight loss and continually encourages readers to get to know the science involved.

“I’d like to see a program where losing weight isn’t just part of a reality show competition,” she says. “A show that exposes the best strategies and worst diets would be a great start.”