Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Georgia's Stop Childhood Obesity Ad Campaign

If you haven’t yet seen a clip from Georgia’s haunting childhood obesity ad campaign, check it out here.

In perhaps the most persuasive call to action to address childhood obesity in recent years, the state of Georgia unveiled a series of stark public service announcements meant to raise awareness and highlight the negative consequences of excess pounds for children. Every time I watch this one, my heart breaks for the little boy.The individual advertisements vary in their storylines but each one concludes with the harsh one-liner: STOP SUGARCOATING IT, GEORGIA.

Children in Georgia suffer from obesity at disproportionately high rates (40% of kids in the state qualify as overweight or obese versus the national average of 17%). But whose fault is it really? Food deserts, a global recession, and hearty southern cooking contribute to a diet of convenient food and a serious lack of nutritious vegetables and whole grains. Combine these eating habits with overweight parents who lead by example, and it’s no wonder childhood obesity has escalated into an epidemic.

But, are these ads effective marketing tools? Do they raise awareness about childhood obesity or merely overstate a known issue?

Lastly, do the ads demonize Georgians by suggesting that parents of obese kids are “bad” parents?

Click here to learn more about childhood obesity. Education is the first step towards prevention.


Anonymous said...

Wow scary stuff. Really insightful article. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

wonderful article. What do we do?

Fiona Gathright said...

What do we do? It's hard to know!

Public health programs are a good first step. Michelle Obama's Get Moving campaign aims to get kids all over the US healthy and active.

Support PE and recess in schools, encourage children and teens to snack on whole grains, vegetables, and non-processed foods, and sit down for family dinners.

These guidelines are easier said than done but definitely a good place to start!

Thanks for your comment.

Anonymous said...

Does being obese really take the fun out of being a kid? The notion that obese children can't have fun seems like neither a positive nor productive angle.

I also find it surprising that this article does not once mention genetics. Fighting childhood obesity is a worthy cause, but please note that ads like these demonize the KIDS and stoke the fire of bullying and teasing.