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In 2015, It Starts Now, a nationwide competition sought short videos and films about obesity in America. Many individuals created videos that creatively inspired, motivated and/or educated the public about issues related to obesity.

The first national film and video contest sponsored by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) received roughly 25 entries before announcing its winners at the Balasco Theater in Los Angeles, California during ObesityWeek 2015.

A jury-awarded grand prize of $5,000 to Reeger Cortell, FNP from Oregon who created a video called, “I Have a Disease; It’s Called Obesity.”

Below are the contest winners, along with their personal testimonies:

First Place

I Have a Disease; It’s Called Obesity

Reeger Cortell


A second place prize of $3,500 was awarded to Brendan Walsh from New Jersey for “The Push and the Will,” an autobiographic sketch about his struggle with obesity since childhood.

Second Place

The Push and the Will

Brendan Walsh


Third place prizes of $1,500 were awarded to Tracy Martinez, RN for her video, “Obesity Discrimination,” which calls on the medical community to be more sensitive and understanding of the needs of people with obesity and Dr. Tim Erlich and Nate Ziller for their animated short describing how obesity is a disease.

Third Place

Obesity Discrimination

Tracy Martinez


Obesity is a Disease

Tim Erlich and Nate Ziller


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