Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Shock Tactic

I was recently made aware of THIS Anti -Obesity ad campaign currently in print and on television in Georgia.  My first thought was "Who lets their child MODEL for these types of things!?"  Wow.  Nice parenting.  Way to make money off your child and damage them emotionally at the same time.  Stellar.

The more I read, the more I gather that this is supposed to "shock" Georgia in to realizing their childhood obesity epidemic, and do something about it.

Why are chubby kids shocking?  Are these images supposed to make me recoil?  And I absolutely REFUSE to use the word "fat" on those sweet little kids OR their parents.  To me, that is hurtful language with no place in my vocabulary.

So, run these horrible ads on TV and in print media and people will "wake up" and say - OH my goodness, MY child looks like that child and TV says that's BAD.  I should really change the family diet and educate my children about good exercise choices right away!

Calling bullshit on this one.

Just like smoking, alcoholism, methamphetamine, marijuana, drunk driving, not wearing your seatbelt, chewing tobacco, and every other health and safety risk before it - these ads are attempting to reach the populous with a strong message.  With the average American watching over 4 hours of television per day, they will certainly do that.

While I'm all for delivering the message that obesity in children is a serious health risk, I have to ask - don't these kids in Georgia ever see a doctor or a school nurse?  Have the parents never been informed by a trusted authority that their children are dangerously overweight?  I'm sure that they have. 

If parents are ignoring their pediatricians, why would they listen to an ad campaign?  They won't.  They  ignore their own health risks and figure that kids can handle a few extra calories.  I actually grew up in one of these families.  Thankfully, my Mother decided to get serious about some healthier choices when I was around 12 or so.  Had she not, I'm not sure if I ever would have learned anything about nutrition.

I mean, why should I care if my folks don't?

Oh, that's right - because the TV said.

What do you think?


  1. I highly doubt these ads will be effective. Maybe intervention by a pediatrician would be more effective. I think calling these children "fat" just makes the problem worse. It labels them at such a young age and destroys their self esteem.
    Jen Arnold

  2. Childhood obesity is terrible and so sad, however I agree that showing overweight children is not the answer...we can see them in our daily life.

    I have a cousin who is about 10 and is definitely overweight..her belly is so big she looks pregnant! But when I look at her parents, it is no shock at all. If the parents are overweight and getting second and third helpings at the family gathering, why shouldn't the children?

    Good topic!