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Posted 8/12/2015

Winning Entries to Premiere at ObesityWeek 2015 in Los Angeles in November

GAINESVILLE, FL – Aug. 12, 2015 – Time is running out for members of the public to submit short films or videos about obesity, the nation’s number one public health threat. The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) is sponsoring “It Starts Now,” a national contest that will award winners up to $5,000 and a trip to Los Angeles, where winning entries will premiere during ObesityWeek 2015.

Entries must be received by October 23, 2015. Visit for instructions on how to enter.

“Anyone 18 and older with a video camera or smartphone can submit their stories in any genre,” said John M. Morton, MD, MPH, president of the ASMBS. “We’re looking for videos or films that are inspirational or make people think differently about obesity.”

Videos or films of five minutes or less are being sought that creatively inspire, motivate and educate the country about issues related to obesity. Submissions will be judged on originality, creativity, direction, content and thoughtfulness.

A grand prize of $5,000 will be presented in Los Angeles, CA during ObesityWeek 2015 (Nov. 2 to Nov. 7, 2015), the largest international event focused on the basic science, clinical application and prevention and treatment of obesity. The second place winner will receive $3,500 and two third place winners will get $1,500 each.

It Starts Now judges include Emmy Award-winning writer and producer, Perry Rein; journalist Dan Childs, managing editor, medical coverage, ABC News; screenplay writer of Remember the Titans, Gregory Allen Howard; Jamie Dukes, NFL Network commentator and former NFL player; and Dr. Morton.

Videos or films should address the topic of obesity and can be of any genre including drama, documentary, animation, journalism, public service announcements, experimental or music videos. There is no fee for submission.

Some ideas for video and filmmakers to consider include:

Some ideas for video and filmmakers to consider include:

  • What makes obesity a disease like cancer or heart disease
  • Treating Obesity as a Disease with counseling, medications, surgery
  • Obesity in America
  • The Health and Economic Consequences of Obesity
  • Obesity Affects Everyone
  • Obesity: Balancing Prevention and Treatment Strategies
  • Combatting weight stigma and discrimination
  • Life transformations and personal struggles and triumphs
  • Solutions to the obesity epidemic

The ASMBS seeks to build upon its previous motivational video, It Starts Today. This motivational video tells three stories from the perspectives of a nurse, military veteran and former NFL player. Watch it at

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports more than 72 million Americans have obesity and, according to the ASMBS, about 24 million have severe obesity. Individuals with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 have a 50 to 100 percent increased risk of premature death compared to healthy weight individuals, as well as an increased risk of developing more than 30 obesity-related diseases and conditions including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. In 2013, the American Medical Association (AMA) declared obesity a disease.

About the ASMBS
The ASMBS is the largest organization for bariatric surgeons in the nation. It is a non-profit organization that works to advance the art and science of bariatric surgery and is committed to educating medical professionals and the lay public about bariatric surgery as an option for the treatment of morbid obesity, as well as the associated risks and benefits. It encourages its members to investigate and discover new advances in obesity, while maintaining a steady exchange of experiences and ideas that may lead to improved outcomes for morbidly obese patients. For more information, visit

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