Obesity is a problem all over the country. There have been statistics etched out that show the intensity of the problem in each city in America. Some cities have won the “fattest city” award on a regular basis, but at this time Atlanta, Ga., is the second fattest city in the country. The healthcare community has set out to alert parents to this harsh reality and the severity of it….but through their children.
The severity of the problem with obesity, especially as it pertains to children, was not identified by 75 percent of the parents in Atlanta, according to the ads run by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta under the Strong4Life campaign that they co-founded. The campaign is under fire because of its statements coming from Georgia’s children.
According to the New York Daily News, the intent of the ad campaign was to be brutally honest as the tobacco commercials in order to make a real connection to the severity of being overweight. These commercials have young people talk candidly about how their lives have been affected by their weight.
One boy explained that he played his video games so he wouldn’t have to play with the other kids. They make fun of him. Another little girl says the same thing. The other kids make fun of her and it hurts her feelings. One child sits down with his mother and asks “Why am I fat?” But, the most telling ad was where the girl says nothing and you hear her mother say:
“Being thick runs in our family. As her mom, I never noticed Tameka eating any differently than the rest of us. She likes junk food, but what kid doesn’t? When the doctor said she had Type II Diabetes, I never thought that what we eat made her sick. I just always thought she was thick like her Mama.”
The tagline of the ads says, “Stop sugar coating it, Georgia?” The use of the children in the campaign are probably the harshest aspect of the message. Parents don’t want to see themselves as being blamed for their child’s problems; in this case, obesity.
Take a look at the campaign and tell us what you think? Should children be used along with the statements or is this just the wake-up call a lot of us need? If your children are healthy, in most cases, the parents would be too. Check it out.