Plenty of adults start a new year with weight loss resolutions, but Georgia is taking an even stronger stance on getting overweight and obese children in shape. The New York Times reports the state recently launched its Strong4Life campaign, which uses TV advertisements and billboards featuring obese kids and has caused quite a controversy.
The ads accuse the public of “sugar-coating” the problem of childhood obesity, but bloggers, parents and doctors have found plenty to get riled up about. One billboard slogan reads, “Fat kids become fat adults” while another says, “Big bones didn’t make me this way. Big meals did.” Many have accused the program of “fat shaming” children and teens without actually helping them. Some experts say the ads just add to the bullying overweight kids face at school without giving real solutions.
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the organization behind Strong4Life, does take a hands-on approach when it comes to obesity; they offer a clinic for obese children and have trained 600 Atlanta-area pediatricians in dealing with overweight patients and their families. And one teen featured in a commercial told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “It’s very provocative and makes people uncomfortable, but it’s when people are uncomfortable that change comes.”
Check out one of the videos:
Do you think this program will work or is it just an (offensive) scare tactic?