here. Basically health officials in GA have started an ad campaign targeting childhood obesity. Great. This is a problem and it needs to be addressed. So they've come up with ads that feature pictures of overweight kids with tag lines like:
"Stop sugar-coating it, Georgia."
“Being fat takes the fun out of being a kid.”
"It's hard to be a little girl...when you're not."
Mmmmmkay. Here's my issue. Childhood obesity is NOT the child's fault. I repeat...it's NOT the child's fault. I understand that 9 times out of 10, obesity is not a genetic disorder, a biological problem, a metabolic issue... it's because we eat too much and we don't move enough. PERIOD. However, kids can't control this! Kids don't know how to eat healthy unless someone tells them and being a kid, telling them isn't enough. You have to SHOW them. If they see their parents eating healthy, they'll think that's the norm. Period. Done.
Do these ads raise awareness for parents that this is a problem? Maybe...maybe not. Part of the reason GA decided to do this was because "75 percent of parents (surveyed) with overweight or obese kids did not see their children as having a weight issue." So are these same parents going to recognize their children in these ads? Or are they going to remain in denial and say "That kid is way fatter than my kid." So not only is the campaign effectiveness iffy at best, but it's mean to these kids.
The ads are right. It's hard to be a fat kid. I was chubby (NOT fat...I THOUGHT I was fat but I really wasn't) and getting teased about it sucked. It affected my self esteem, my confidence, my social awkwardness and that has continued throughout adulthood. Do we really need to create any more stigma for fat kids than they already deal with? Do we really need posters telling these kids that they're not as good as everyone else, that they're "wrong" or that their weight defines them. Kids are already cruel about weight. Even if the child isn't overweight but their parents are, they get teased about THAT. Fat mama jokes are the NORM on playgrounds. Do we really need anything else that is going to make these children feel worse about themselves than they already do?
These ads are an attempt to educate but, in my opinion, they're just another form of bullying.