Beyond willpower: Three TEDMED talks on how to fight obesity

What’s the best way to combat our national obesity epidemic?

To preview the issues behind our live online Great Challenges conversation about obesity this Thursday at 1 PM EST, we’ve collated three recent talks on the topic, a running theme of which is: It is immensely difficult for any single person to tackle the health issue of obesity alone.

How can America lose weight?
The CEO of Weight Watchers, David Kirchhoff, says America’s obesity crisis isn’t about people eating too much; it’s about our “obesogenic” environment. Beating it will involve lots of collective willpower.

Why can’t America “weight” any longer?
John Hoffman, vice president of HBO documentary films, and Judith Salerno, executive officer of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, talk about the HBO documentary The Weight of the Nation, why obesity is indeed a health crisis, and why it demands action on a national scale.

If we can’t cure the patient, can the community do it?
Mark Hyman, MD, best-selling author and chairman of the Institute of Functional Medicine, relates a story of how a stringy chicken in Haiti led to a revelation about using social networks to combat chronic health issues, one community at a time.

Mark Hyman on Big Think: There’s no such thing as disease

Mark Hyman at TEDMED 2012.

TEDMED 2012 speaker Mark Hyman, M.D., best-selling author and Chairman of the Institute of Functional Medicine, wowed the TEDMED audience with his story of how community support — in this case, wellness programs delivered via prayer groups — helped 15,000 people lose some 250,000 pounds.

Hyman recently appeared on BigThink.com explaining functional medicine, how it sees disease as systemic rather than an isolated ill, and why it takes lifestyle changes to manage chronic disease. Watch now, and stay tuned for his TEDMED talk — we’ll be releasing videos over the coming weeks.

New 2012 speakers added to roster

More astounding thinkers on their way to The Kennedy Center Opera House stage this April: A

Jay Walker interviews Michael Graves at TEDMED 2011.

space-systems engineer on how robots could help even you be a surgeon; a biologist on how cancer evolves (bad) and a zoologist on how sex evolves (good). A storied designer unveiling a graphic “sicktionary.” A renowned storyteller on how one community saved him, and a doc known for seeing the big picture on how communities save us all.  Plus, a Song-a-Day to wrap it all up.  Follow the links for details and bios.

 

Diane Kelly

Senior Research Fellow at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst

WHEN IS RESEARCH AN EXERCISE IN FERTILITY?

Mary “Missy” Cummings

Director of the MIT Humans and Automation Laboratory

CAN A “COMPUTER CO-PILOT” HELP ANYONE BE A SURGEON?

Franziska Michor

Associate Professor of Computational Biology, Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

WHEN DOES 2+2= LIFE?

Mark Hyman

Author, Chairman of the Institute of Functional Medicine

IF WE CAN’T CURE THE PATIENT, CAN THE COMMUNITY DO IT?

Ed Gavagan

Owner, PraxisNYC

HOW DID A GREAT MEDICAL TEAM PULL ME BACK FROM THE BRINK?

Teresa Monachino

Author and Founder of Studio Monachino

IF HEALTHCARE IS REALLY SICK CARE, DO I NEED A “SICKTIONARY”?

Jonathan Mann

Singer/Songwriter

WHAT ARE 50 WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR DOCTOR…STUMPED?