NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Instead of receiving notoriety as one of the unhealthiest states, HBO is putting Nashville, Tennessee in the national spotlight for getting people active and fit.
Monday night the HBO series The Weight of the Nation premiered at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, TPAC, in downtown Nashville.
"Tennessee is ranked in the bottom five states in the country in terms of adulthood obesity and childhood obesity," said Nashville Mayor Karl Dean. "So, this is the battle ground. This is the area of the country where this is going to be fought out."
It's the fight many states are losing, but in Nashville the battle gets easier as more and more people get active.
With many exercise initiatives led by Nashville's Mayor, getting fit has become a community effort.
"A lot of these folks were people who had never really walked for exercise and a lot of the runners were folks who'd never run in a race before or participated in one," said Dean.
The Mayor said it's gratifying to see thousands of people take part in walks, 5k runs, greenways and parks the city has to offer.
It's an added bonus to have all these efforts shown to the world as part of HBO's series The Weight of the Nation.
"We're portrayed as a city that is taking steps, taking actions to correct something we need to address. When you're talking about childhood obesity, you're talking about exposing our children to a substantial risk of heart disease and diabetes," said Dean.
The documentary focuses on the small steps our city is doing to eliminate the obesity epidemic our country is facing, in hopes of spreading the motivation.
Dean says, "I realize that a walk or a run is not going to change the statistics overnight, but it's a start. It's a way for us to move, maybe not off the bottom as a state immediately, but for us to start showing that we can be most improved."
You can see Nashville take the spotlight for yourself when the HBO series The Weight of the Nation debuts May 14 and 15 at 8 p.m.