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Controversial Ads in Georgia Target Childhood Obesity

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

What do you think of this?  Is is about time the state of Georgia got tough on childhood obesity this way?  Or are they taking totally the wrong approach?

 

http://www.npr.org/2012/01/09/144799538/controversy-swirls-around-harsh-anti-obesity-ads

post #2 of 10

I think it's important for parents to be realistic about the health of their children and the role they play as parents in supporting optimal health for their own kids (very few kids do the family shopping or drive themselves to fast food restaurants).  But, these adds are at the expense of children..my heart breaks for the children who are featured in them.  I'd rather see money spent on supporting training for medical professionals, school nurses, guidance counselors, etc, in how to best support families in lifestyle changes that promote healthy weight for the whole family.  

post #3 of 10
I watched all the ads on YouTube. Having lived in Ga for many years until recently, I don't think the ads are too harsh.
post #4 of 10

i think that ads like these can perpetuate the problem.  self esteem is a huge component of eating problems, and shaming kids and adults doesn't help. 

what will help is giving people access to healthy foods in an affordable way and corporations stopping the poisoning of kids with advertisement and crappy processed non healthy food.

post #5 of 10

Shame much...

 

Humanity at it's lowest.  While obesity is unhealthy, so is a mirad of other things.  Yet since they're not as visible they're not as easy to pick on.  I'm really disgusted.  And I'm pretty sure reading those articles and looking at those pictures of what I consider shaming has ruined my day.  So horrible.

post #6 of 10

I found a comment that I feel expresses exactly what is wrong with these ads

 

One of the biggest complaints of this ad campaign is that it simplistically shames and implicitly "accuses" without giving realistic methods for resolution, and without proactive considerations of peripheral causes. I cannot believe Children's Healthcare of Atlanta's corporate donors and sponsors REALLY know that they have contributed to what many see is a psychologically hurtful campaign. Then again, maybe they do. Even the corporate donors of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta have a pivotal roll in the obesity crisis. Let's look at a few of the sponsors listed on the CHOA website:Wal-Mart, Sams Club, and Costco -- those bastions of bulk junk food and processed foods. And how about that $100,000 from the Coca-Cola Company! (wow, now here's a company that knows how to deflect contributory blame) ...and of course, there are smaller donors like Golden Corral and Dairy Queen, or IHop and Waffle House. What clever distraction, focusing all blame on the kids and their families! I wonder if these socially responsible corporate sponsors would allow Strong4Life to post their stark imagery on the millions of Coca Cola brand soda cans that make their way into kids' hands, or perhaps post these images at the entrances of Wal-Marts, Costcos, and Golden Corrals.... just so that these blameworthy kids and parents can be dutifully reminded. Now there's a campaign I would fully support ---would be like those warnings that go on cigarette packaging. Think the corporate sponsors would allow it? And if not ....why?
post #7 of 10

What a brilliant quote!  Thanks, that actually says exactly what needs to be said.

 

post #8 of 10

I like the quote, lmakcerka. I've talked to a lot of people about obesity over the years, and many people have a simplistic approach to it. I've found shaming to be the single least effective approach to dealing with weight issues, for many reasons. It's my understanding that Georgia has other "prongs" to their anti-obesity campaign, and those may be more effective, but these ads are awful. When parental denial is involved, throwing an ad in their faces isn't going to help any. (Parents with that mentality will respond with either, "my child's not that fat!", or "what are they talking about? The kid in the ad is nowhere near fat enough to have health problems" or some variation on one of those themes.) This issue is so much more complicated than "people need to feed their children better" and "people need to stop eating so much", but people keep boiling it down to that.

 

I'm currently morbidly obese. I've been technically overweight my entire adult life (mind you, if I got down to what BMI says I should be at, I'd look gaunt and sick - my physique just isn't built for that). I've only had a couple of periods when my weight got really crazy. One of them is now, which is linked more to lack of sleep than anything else. My other two bouts were related to depression (also lack of sleep - when I'm depressed, I sleep less and eat more, which seems to be somewhat atypical, according to a lot of what I've read) and comfort eating. But, I remember stuffing my face with cookies and candy, for emotional reasons, as early as about seven. I'm luckier than many, in that the authority figure who allowed such unfettered access to calorie-dense foods didn't live with me, so I couldn't do that all the time. But, if it had been my mother, not my grandmother, I suspect I'd have been morbidly obese before puberty. And, posters like this would have made me fatter, not skinnier.

post #9 of 10

I did not think the adds were shaming.   At least not to the children.  maybe to parents, school and communities who have let these children become so unhealthy.   But shame on them indeed.  Obesity is a health crisis.  Parents need to wake up.  Schools need to wake up.  health professionals need wake up  whole communities need a wake up call.   It does not matter what a kids self esteem is like if the child is dead or dying. (and an obese little girl does not need anyone to point out she is obese .  she knows and her self esteem is already suffering.)    We need to get past our fear of saying anything that might hurt someones feelings.  These kids need adults to step up and see the damage they have caused and entire communities need to work together to help change things.  

post #10 of 10

In most places, I would consider these ads too harsh. Georgia isn't one of those places. In certain areas I've spent a lot of time and have relatives (GA being one of those areas), I've noticed a disturbing number of people believing you aren't healthy unless you're big. I got a lot of criticism (and even CPS calls) from various people up north because my DD was a healthy weight and I didn't shovel cake and cookies down her throat. It isn't enough that their own children are obese, but they push their loved ones in that direction, too. Their children are "big-boned" and healthy whereas children of a healthy weight are starved and scrawny. No, the ads don't give solutions, but people need to realize obesity is actually a problem before they are ready to tackle solutions. I can't say that these ads are the best way to go about it, but something needs to be done to get parents to wake up.

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