A series of new anti-obesity ads in Georgia are causing controversy for their blunt message. Which, according to the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Strong4Life campaign, is pretty much the point.
Linda Matzigkeit, senior vice president of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, said that the obesity problem in America is getting out of control and people around the country need a wake up call. Matzigkeit said:
“We needed something that was more arresting and in your face than some of the flowery campaigns out there.”
ABC reports that there Georgia currently ranks second in the nation for child obesity with more than 1 million children considered overweight in the state.
Matzigkeit said that Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta surveyed two Georgia towns and found that 50 percent of the parents didn’t know that child obesity was a problem. The survey also found that the majority of parents with obese children did not recognize that their child was overweight.
“If we do not wake up, this will be disastrous for our state.”
But some experts say that the ads go a little too far. Dr. Miriam Labbok, director of the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said that the ads blame the victim and that they could do more harm than good.
“Blaming the victim rarely helps. These children know they are fat and that they are ostracized already… While guilt and fear are motivators, they have to be meted out with the answer to the situation,” Labbok said. “The ads with the children do not offer help to them.”
What do you think about Strong4Life’s new anti-obesity campaign? Are the ads getting the right message across or are they adding insult to injury?
Here’s a video report from Newsy.com.