Anti-Obesity Ads Featuring Children Spark Controversy

An ad campaign in Georgia has many critics shaking their heads.


Who knew that overweight children were so sad and miserable? If you look at videos released by the Strong4Life ad campaign, founded by Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, you would tend to believe they are.

A series of stark anti-obesity videos released in Georgia show children from different backgrounds talking about their struggles with being overweight. The campaign was designed to help parents recognize the severity of the obesity epidemic in the Peach State, which is second in the nation in rates of obesity.

"We felt like we needed a very arresting, abrupt campaign that said, 'Hey, Georgia! Wake up. This is a problem,' " Linda Matzigkeit, senior vice president of Children's Healthcare, said to ABC. "If we do not wake up, this will be disastrous for our state."

The series of ads have received their fair share of controversy, with critics pointing out that they don't offer any solutions to the issue of childhood obesity. "There is no mention about what a parent can do other than to say 'Stop sugarcoating the problem,' " Lori Feldman-Winter, a pediatrics professor at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, told ABC.

While these ads may depress children even more, parents do have a lot to do with what their kids eat on a daily basis. If anything, the ads may show parents the struggles their kids don't talk about but are dealing with every day at school.

We don't think it's a good idea to expose these children on a national level, but maybe the campaign will also help parents realize that obesity affects physical and mental health. What do you think of these ads? Do you think the tough-love approach helps?

Read more at the Daily News.

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.