A California obesity campaign has come under fire after health officials photoshopped a young girl to make her look fat.
The campaign by agency First 5 was attempting to warn parents about giving their children sugary drinks.
In the advertisement, the agency says we need to “nurture and protect our most precious resource — our children,” which may be the case but perhaps not in the way the campaign was carried out.
The original and digitally enhanced photos were placed next to one another for illustration purposes by Marilyn Wann. The FAT!SO? : Because You Don’t Have to Apologize for Your Size author then wrote: “Children deserve to be protected from this kind of damaging fearmongering. (And from creepy Photoshopping!).”
Wann then continues: “It was so mindblowingly hateful that I Photoshopped them together and posted them on Facebook and on Tumblr.”
The posters for the California obesity campaign are now located all throughout the state, and First 5 has refused to apologize for doctoring the photos.
The photo above shows the campaigns poster, which features a little girl as she drinks sugar through a straw. The poster then reads: “Sugary drinks like juice, sports drinks and soda can cause obesity. Choose milk and water instead.”
According to First 5 spokeswoman Lindsay Van Laningham: ‘The ad was intended to show parents the real-life consequences of obesity and what sugar can do to our children’s lives.”
Laningham continues: “They are just stock images which were Photoshopped. When you are handing a child soda or a juice box to drink you might as well be handing them a packet of sugar. Because that’s what happening.”
In the meantime, experts in the field continue to argue over the impact of the campaign. While some experts believe such scare tactics can work, others claim we need to “fight obesity and not obese people.”
Are you shocked by the California obesity campaign and its photoshopped little girl?