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.
Drug test results stemming from the London 2012 Olympic Games may end up pushing as many as 23 athletes out of the upcoming Games in Rio, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced Friday. After retesting 265 doping samples from London using more advanced methods than were available at the time, the IOC says it has found athletes from five different sports and six different countries to possibly be guilty of doping.
The latest results come on the heels of last week's announcement that, after retesting 454 doping samples from the 2008 Games in Beijing, 31 athletes had tested positive. The IOC says there may be more results in coming weeks, too, as retests continue. "We want to keep the dopers away from the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro," IOC president Thomas Bach said. "This is why we are acting swiftly now." Becca Stanek
A Wisconsin Christian school that receives federal funding is demanding to see all applicants' birth certificates to make sure none are transgender, reports Talking Point Memo. St. John's Lutheran officials admit they can't legally discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, but say they're letting students with a "sinful lifestyle" know "where we're coming from," to avoid having "to weed them out" after they're enrolled.
The school is now under federal investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the free lunch program St. John's Lutheran School participates in.
Maybe Bernie Sanders fans aren't so sick of hearing about Hillary Clinton's "damn emails" after all. As it appears more and more likely that Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for president, some Sanders supporters see an opportunity for their candidate to get ahead if only the F.B.I. would act, and quick.
"[Clinton] should be removed," Julie Cowell of Tustin, California, told The New York Times. "I don't know why she's not already been told, 'You can't run because you're being investigated.' I don't know how that's not a thing."
Sanders superfans are calling Clinton's use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state an unforgivable transgression that should disqualify her from running for president — an opinion also held by many of her opponents on the right. In fact, some polls have even indicated that as many as a third of Sanders supporters would ultimately pick Donald Trump if it came down to him and Clinton.
"I'm hoping that the F.B.I. sends a strong message to people like [Clinton], as well as other people in politics who are using their position of power to manipulate the system for their own personal advancement. She feels like she can do whatever she wants with absolute impunity, and that she somehow is above any type of repercussions," Jennifer Peters, 28, of Costa Mesa, California, said.
Earlier this week, an internal audit by the State Department sharply criticized Clinton for failing to request permission to use her personal server, permission that the Office of the Inspector General said "would not" have been approved due to "the security risks in doing so." Jeva Lange
As Kim Jong Un's aunt, Ko, tells it, the North Korean leader had a pretty "normal" childhood. The 60-year-old woman, who now lives in New York City, told The Washington Post that during her years living in Switzerland with her sister, Kim Jong Un's mother, she recalls their kids snacking on cake, playing with Legos, and shooting hoops. "He started playing basketball, and he became obsessed with it," Ko said of Kim Jong Un. "He used to sleep ... with his basketball."
But for all the normal childhood memories Ko has of Kim Jong Un, she also remembers spotting some inklings of the leader her nephew would someday become. "He wasn't a troublemaker but he was short-tempered and had a lack of tolerance," she said. "When his mother tried to tell him off for playing with these things too much and not studying enough, he wouldn't talk back but he would protest in other ways, like going on a hunger strike."
Often the moments that change the course of human history aren't understood until the consequences of such actions are already realized. That wasn't so with the atomic bomb — President Harry Truman knew the invention was going to change the world forever when he authorized the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II.
Truman recalled the moment he told Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin about the plan to drop the bomb — a memory he scrawled on the back of a photograph rediscovered by presidential historian Michael Beschloss:
Harry Truman note on back of photograph about telling Stalin about US atomic bomb, July 1945: pic.twitter.com/GqLSQTcnHb
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) May 27, 2016
In which I tell Stalin we expect to drop the most powerful explosive ever made on the Japanese. He smiled and said he appreciated my telling him — but he did not know what I was talking about — the atomic bomb!
Around 140,000 people were killed or died within months of the August 6, 1945 attack. Three days later, 80,000 people were killed when a second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. On Friday, President Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit the site of the Hiroshima bombing since Truman's decision. Jeva Lange
Facebook and Microsoft are taking their quest for faster internet to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. The two tech giants have announced that they're planning to start construction on a giant underwater fiber optic cable in August that will span from Virginia Beach to Balboa, Spain — a distance of more than 4,000 miles. The cable is set to be "the highest capacity link across the Atlantic," The Wall Street Journal reports.
In a joint statement Thursday, Microsoft and Facebook said the cable will make bandwidth rates faster and increase reliability of cloud services like Skype, Xbox Live, photo sharing, and live video broadcasting. The cable will handle up to 160 terabytes per second. That's roughly 8.5 million times the average home internet speed in the UK, The Independent reports.
Construction is set to be completed by October 2017. Becca Stanek
On Thursday night, the U.S. government–funded National Toxicology Program released partial results from a multi-year, peer-reviewed study on the risk of cancer from cellphone emissions, and unfortunately they found "low incidences" of two types of tumors. Some previous epidemiological studies have also found an increase in these two types of tumor — gliomas, in the brain's glial cells, and schwannomas in the heart — leading the World Health Organization to classify cellphone radiation as a 2B possible carcinogen (the same category as coffee and some pickles, The Wall Street Journal notes).
"Given the widespread global usage of mobile communications among users of all ages, even a very small increase in the incidence of disease resulting from exposure to [radio-frequency radiation] could have broad implications for public health," the NTP said. The $25 million study, overseen by the National Institutes of Health, used rats and mice, exposing them to radio frequencies from GSM and CDMA devices, the two most common types of consumer wireless technologies. Only the male rats appeared to experience a boost in cancer rates.
Experiments on rodents and other lab animals don't always translate to humans, and a number of other studies have found no link between cancer and cellphones, including a recent study from Australia that found no rise in brain cancer since cellphones were introduced in the 1980s. But "where people were saying there's no risk, I think this ends that kind of statement," Ron Melnick, who ran the NTP project until retiring in 2009, told The Wall Street Journal. The full study, slated to be released by the fall of 2017, could prompt the U.S. government to modify its safety guidelines, including recommending you talk only with a headset or avoid carrying your phone in your pocket. Peter Weber