Are The Ads Right On
Or Too Harsh?

The state of Georgia has gone to a new level with a bold collection of anti-obesity ads that specifically target the childhood obesity epidemic. The ads are being met with mixed reactions from parents around the country, however. Get the info and decide for yourself if the ads go too far or if they are just right.

Overweight boy

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta launched the ads due to Georgia's extremely high child obesity rates. The goal is to present the public with a frank look at how obesity affects children, physically as well as emotionally.

Georgia's skyrocketing obesity rates

Georgia has the unhappy distinction of having the second-highest childhood obesity rate in the country (second to Mississippi). According to the campaign's website, Strong 4 Life, nearly 1 million Georgia children are overweight or obese, and they estimate that 75 percent of parents with overweight or obese children don't recognize the problem.

Childhood obesity has brought diseases such as hypertension and type 2 diabetes into the lives of children -- diseases previously thought to be adult-only problems. Other health risks of obesity are sleep apnea, heart disease, liver disease and kidney disease. The site states, "Georgia's obesity costs are estimated to be $2.4 billion per year due to the rise in this epidemic."

The Strong 4 Life campaign

The campaign has been designed to provide Georgia parents with some insight into the problems an overweight child can face, such as serious, lifelong medical issue and being bullied at school.

"It's not ok to blame kids for being bullied."

Parents are conflicted, however, on the angle of the campaign, which invites the public to discuss the issues on their Facebook page. Some feel the ads are way too harsh and put the blame onto overweight children, such as Facebook user Hannah, who stated, "I was shamed for my weight all my life. Guess what? IT DIDN'T MAKE ME LOSE WEIGHT! Your new PSAs stink."

Another Facebook user agrees. "What you are doing is wrong," stated March. "It's not ok to blame kids for being bullied. We need to [...] change our attitudes towards health and size. These children are people too and deserve to live their life free from shaming and ridicule."

Ads are right on

Other parents say that the ads are a refreshing change and should help moms and dads recognize that their children need help. Brooke, mom of one, stated, "These ad are something some parents need to see unfortunately. I do think parents are solely responsible for the increasingly sedentary lifestyle of today's kids."

"These ad are something parents need to see."

Cathy, mother of one, shared, "I think they should push more exercise and better eating habits all over the country, whether you are obese or not." Jessica from Minnesota agreed. "Kids used to walk to school, now they don't," she said. "Kids used to run around the neighborhood playing all day outside. Now they don't.

Grocery store prices are to blame as well. "I think a lot of it has to do with the cost of groceries, to be honest," explained Brigetta, mother of three. "You could just go to McDonald's for cheaper than buying good produce and organic products."

The stark nature of the short ads, which range from 30 seconds to over a minute, is meant to bring the issue to light in plain language in the words of the children who are affected. It can be hoped that overweight and obese children in Georgia, as well as the rest of the country, can be recognized and helped by their parents after seeing these ads.

Tell us

What do you think of Georgia's anti-obesity ad campaign? An honest look at the problem or far too harsh?

More on childhood obesity

How to break the cycle of childhood obesity
Preventing childhood obesity
Is your child obese?


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Comments on "Georgia's anti-obesity campaign brings childhood obesity to light"

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Annalisa June 02, 2012 | 1:00 AM

I think it is a bit of both.When I was at school, a mimnium of 2 hours PE was incorporated into the curriculum, even if you are doing your GCSEs, and PE was not a subject you picked as an option, you had to do 2 x 1.5 hour sessions a week. When my younger cousin was doing her GCSEs 2 years ago, it was an optional thing, and she spent that time sitting on her bum at home. It doesn't help either when the school cooks do not cook as much anymore, merely reheat stuff.My mother raised my brother and myself on her own and on a meagre income, she often took either one of us with her, on Saturday, to Walthamstow Market (it was a half hour walk from my crummy council estate). We took an interest in the fruit and veg the guys were putting into the paper bags, and when it came to the supermarket, my bro and I had a friendly competition to find the cheapest but healthiest *item which was going to be for dinner that night* I think that was half the reason she allowed us to tag along ;o) but, she did not allow my brother or me to dictate our dinners (when we had them), we only had one choice and it was either on our plate, or we go hungry. She cannot understand why one of my aunts would cook a different meal for each of her children, and then something else for herself she is the mother, she should decide on dinner not the kids (who would be more than happy to live off of burger and chips, or pizza 365 days a year). The problem at home, is that most parents dare not leave their kiddies out of their sight to go outside in the (somewhat) fresh air and play, as they are told that a paedophile is on every corner and will snatch them away, and that is only when play areas or dirt tracks are not being sold on for redevelopment (it was heartbreaking going through my old council estate to see that the play area I spent a lot of my school holidays as a child has been turned into a . car park!)We are living in a time when doctors are seeing children with Rickets again, this is a disease which has hardly been seen in the UK for nearly 80 years! Both have a part to play, people must be very naive (or extremely stupid) not to make a link between an increasing sedentary childhood, increasing consumption in what I can only call crap , and lack of focus on physical education as a child, and their expanding waistlines!

Phronsie January 07, 2012 | 7:29 AM

People look everywhere to place blame fir the problem. My opinion is that it began with the media. We became bad parents if we didn't know where our kids at every moment, if we let them run the neighborhood. After all, there are registered offenders next door and someone might kidnap them if we let them outside. So, our kids sat in front of the TV after school. TV evolved into video gaming and now it's computers. All the while, parents lifestyles got busier. Both parents working, who has time to supervise the kids? We want them safe, so we keep them indoors. sports can be expensive and time consuming..who can take off work every Thursday to take the kids to soccer practice? so... The answer isn't ads shaming kids for a problem created by the society in which they live.

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