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.