This candidly powerful anti-obesity PSA is already inspiring change
When we meet Jim, a 32-year-old obese man, in 2030, life is not going so well. In fact, we might be witnessing the beginning of Jim's end by cardiac arrest. As doctors rush to help his crushing heart, we backtrack through Jim's abbreviated lifespan to see how he got here.
What unfolds is first-person view of a sedentary, junk-food fueled life where bad habits are learned and encouraged by a well meaning family.
The video comes from Children's Healthcare of Atlanta's "Strong4Life" campaign, which encourages viewers to "rewind the future." It may not actually be too late for Jim, the PSA claims, and it's not too late for anyone else struggling to stay healthy, too.
Now, before you scratch the itch of cynicism, I encourage you to read the Reddit thread that plays out under the original posting. Strangers share stories, successes, failures, and the guilt and shame they feel in their plights. Such honesty is rewarded with sometimes aggressive words of support. One commentator threatens to check in on another's progress in a month. It is genuinely inspiring. Here are just a few examples:
I'm 5'9, 32 years old and almost 300 pounds. I played all those gaming systems and pretty much grew up like that. Even with the fucking treadmill.
I think for the first time, a psa got to me. See you soon progress pics (wish me luck reedit)
Edit: wow guys. Your going to make shed some tears with the support you are all giving me. I am not very articulate, but it's time like this I wish was so that I can properly deliver how much this support means to me. [Reddit user drewgarr]
Thanks for sharing, and for articulating it so clearly. I have lost weight over the last few months (30 lbs!), and just feel... so much better, more energetic, less achy, etc. Many habits I've gotten comfortable with needed to be broken, or still need breaking.
EDIT: Since this is a visible comment, THANK YOU to whoever gave me gold for posting the link!
EDIT2: I have read so many comments from people saying that this PSA inspired them to make changes to better their health, and that has overwhelmed me. Just know that if you're one of those people who's been inspired, yes, you can fucking do it. Also, /r/loseit and /r/progresspics genuinely motivated me, and maybe it will help you, too. [Reddit user StreetMailbox]
Wow. As an overweight mother this hit hard. I am doing everything in my power to make sure my daughter doesn't end up like me and so far it's working because she is a beautifully healthy little girl who would much rather take a slice of melon over chocolate I just need to sort myself out for her sake as well as my own. I can and will do it. I will not die through obesity. [Reddit user leedsfreak]
Obesity statistics are terrifying. Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents on the past 30 years. If it takes a PSA or a public forum like Reddit to get the conversation and motivation going, more power to both.
Check out Strong4Life's website for more information about to make healthy habits.
Exit polls show anti-austerity Syriza party to win Greek elections
Greece's left-wing Syriza party on Sunday appeared to win a decisive victory in a nationwide election, according to early exit polls.
In what would represent a sound rejection of austerity, preliminary results showed Syriza taking around 35 percent of the vote to 30 percent for Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and the governing New Democracy Party. A Syriza victory would likely result in the party's leader, Alexis Tsipras, becoming the next prime minster.
"The message is that our common future in Europe is not the future of austerity," Tsipras said Sunday.
'Potentially historic' snowstorm threatens to paralyze Northeast
The northeastern United States could in some places see around two feet of snow over the next few days as a massive winter storm passes through the region.
— Michael Palmer (@MPalmerTWC) January 25, 2015
Blizzard watches are in effect in Boston and Providence — which could each get slammed with two feet of snow — and in New York City, where one foot is forecast to fall between Sunday and Wednesday. A "large area" could see winds around 50 miles per hour, and 70 mph gust could buffet the Massachusetts coast, according to The Weather Channel, which calls the storm "potentially historic."
Mike Huckabee on 2016 bid: 'I'm moving in that direction'
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) said Sunday he is leaning toward another run at the White House.
"I think it's pretty evident that I'm moving in that direction," Huckabee said on Meet the Press.
Earlier this month, Huckabee left Fox News after more than six years with the network, a move widely seen as a prerequisite for a 2016 bid. You can watch Huckabee's entire Meet the Press interview here.
Bobby Jindal backs constitutional amendment on gay marriage
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) on Sunday joined the push for a constitutional amendment that would allow states to define marriage for themselves.
The Supreme Court this month agreed to hear arguments over whether the Constitution guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry. A decision is expected this summer, and Jindal said shoud the Justices side with same-sex marriage advocates, he would support a legislative effort to override that ruling.
"I certainly support Ted Cruz and others that are talking about making an amendment — a constitutional amendment — to allow states to continue to define marriage," he said in an interview with ABC.
Saturday Night Live on Deflategate: Tom Brady did it
Mystery solved: Tom Brady deflated all those footballs, according to Saturday Night Live's take on Deflategate.
As expected, SNL opened this weekend with a sketch lampooning the New England Patriots' alleged ball tampering, with a curmudgeonly Bill Belichick throwing his squirming QB under the bus. And yes, there were some jokes about balls. —Jon Terbush
Greece holds election that could serve as referendum on austerity
Greek voters headed to the polls Sunday for a crucial election that could set the stage for a showdown with the European Union over austerity measures.
The left-wing Syriza party, which led in the run-up to the election, has vowed to renegotiate a $270 billion international bailout it blames for the country's poor financial health. Led by 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, Syriza has also said it will demand creditors write off billions of dollars of Greece's debt.
"Democracy will return to Greece," Tsipras said Sunday.
Bill Nye on Deflategate: Patriots' explanation 'didn't make any sense'
Bill Nye, the celebrity scientist and former host of an eponymous TV show, on Sunday threw cold water on New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick's amateur science explanation for why footballs used in last weekend's AFC Championship game were underinflated.
"What he said didn't make any sense," Nye said in an interview with ABC.
Belichick on Saturday said atmospheric conditions, not deliberate tampering, caused the balls to fall below the minimum allowable PSI, saying the team "absolutely followed every rule to the letter." —Jon Terbush
Rebel missile attack kills 30 civilians, injures 100 in Ukraine
Pro-Russian separatists on Saturday launched missile attacks on the southeastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, killing 30 civilians and injuring more than 100.
"This is a crime against humanity to be tried by the Hague tribunal," Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said in a statement.
Rebels fired around 60 missiles in two separate attacks, with the scope of the bombardment suggesting, according to Western officials, some degree of Russian involvement. Secretary of State John Kerry called the attack "reprehensible" adding that it was "aided and abetted by Russia’s irresponsible and dangerous decision to resupply" the rebels despite a delicate truce.
Moscow denied any role in the attack.
Republican presidential hopefuls gather in Iowa for 2016 kickoff
A slew of potential Republican candidates for the 2016 presidential nomination descended on Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday for a conservative summit considered the unofficial kickoff to the next election cycle.
Sponsored by Iowa Rep. Steve King (R), the event drew prospective candidates ranging from the moderate (New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie) to the Tea Party-aligned (Texas Sen. Ted Cruz), the latter of whom challenged his fellow speakers to "show me where you stood up and fought" President Obama's policies. Other featured attendees included Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Notably, two of the most prominent potential GOP candidates — Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney — did not attend, citing scheduling conflicts.
Japanese PM Shinzo Abe 'speechless' over ISIS execution of hostage
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday that though intelligence experts had yet to verify a video purporting to show ISIS had executed one of two Japanese hostages, the evidence had "a high chance of being real."
The video, which surfaced Saturday, showed one of the hostages, Kenji Goto, holding an image of what appeared to be the decapitated body of the other prisoner, Haruna Yukawa. Though ISIS initially sought a $200 million ransom for the two men, the group instead offered in the latest video to swap Goto for the release of Sajida al-Rishawi, a woman sentenced to death in Jordan for a 2005 terror attack.
President Obama called Abe Sunday to offer his condolences, saying the US. stood "shoulder to shoulder" with Japan.