Twenty years ago, a cheeseburger was 257 calories. Today, it’s 590.

Yes, 590.

Try this one on for size: Twenty minutes of jogging burns off about one chocolate chip cookie.

We have a problem. Although for most, it’s no surprise.

I watched part one and part two of HBO‘s new documentary, Weight of the Nation last night.  It’s a chilling tale of the obesity epidemic in America.

As we already know, obesity, followed by a number of other ailments including heart disease, strokediabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and some cancers, affects the physical and mental health, brain development, productivity and life span of our nation.

The stats were pounded home, the food industry was grilled, myths were busted and a heart and an aorta were dissected before they begged the question: What Can I Do?

Followed by an array of honest stories, struggles and triumphs during the segment, Yolanda did something. Weighing in at 430 pounds, she realized it was time to make a change – not a drastic one, but hundreds of little ones – each one at a time. For instance, she started looking at calories in her drinks and realized she was drinking 2,000 calories a day just in drinks!

The lesson learned: Big goals aren’t achievable. Small goals are. Losing just 10 percent of your weight can have enormous physical benefits.

It’s an every day kind of commitment.

Small steps play a key role when we talk about Life’s Simple 7 the seven simple steps to get you on the path to ideal health.

  1. Get Active
  2. Control Cholesterol
  3. Eat Better
  4. Manage Blood Pressure
  5. Lose Weight
  6. Reduce Blood Sugar
  7. Stop Smoking

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get the weight off our nation.

To get started, consider this:

  1. Start with small steps
  2. Make realistic goals
  3. Seek support
  4. Keep portions under control
  5. Track your caloric intake

Featured in the second segment, “Choices,” Rhonda and Elana have each lost more than 100 pounds and have maintained their weight loss for more than a year.

Their answer to the question: What Can I Do?

“I’m just an ordinary person, who does a bunch of tiny, ordinary things, that together are extraordinary.”

Now that’s inspiration. What tiny goal will you make this week?

You can watch “Consequences” here.

Watch “Choices” here.

And don’t forget to tune in for parts three and four – “Children in Crisis” and “Challenges” – tonight at 8 p.m. CST on HBO. Don’t have HBO? No sweat! It’s free at