Strong4Life Says Parents are Killing Kids: Is Their Campaign Too Extreme?

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In August 2011 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta kicked off a grim, yet realistic and highly controversial anti-obesity campaign. The Children’s Stop Childhood Obesity campaign includes billboards, ads and commercials across the Atlanta area and is meant to help raise awareness about childhood obesity and to improve the health of overweight and obese children. The ads and commercials are stark black and white with punctuated red text, showing pictures of overweight children and highlighting some of the social and health problems they face. The ads have created quite a stir over the last year, and now the campaign, which you can check out on the Strong4Life website has released a new, even harsher commercial that’s sure to cause even more controversy. Keep reading to see the new commercial.

Does the Strong4Life anti-obesity campaign go too far?

  • 159 Votes No - America needs a weight wake-up call.
  • 27 Votes Yes - all these ads do is shame and stigmatize overweight kids
  • 5 Votes I don't like the campaign ads but I do think they may work.
  • 2 Votes I can't decide if I like the ads or hate them.

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Childhood Obesity in America

The new commercial, shown above clearly points out that parents play a huge role in the childhood obesity epidemic. In fact, the ad goes so far as to indicate that parents may be killing their kids with poor choices and indecisive parenting. Is this necessary? How problematic is childhood obesity? While some don’t like the campaign, it’s hard to argue that an anti-obesity campaign isn’t needed. Georgia has the 2nd highest childhood obesity rate in the U.S. and about 40% (nearly 1 million) of Georgia’s children are overweight or obese. Not that Georgia is unique. The American Heart Association, among other organizations, reports that one in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese. In case you think this is a common age-old problem, research shows it’s not. Kids didn’t used to be, as a rule, overweight or obese. In fact, the CDC notes that childhood obesity rates have more than tripled in the past 30 years. Obesity is now the second most common preventable cause of death in this country after smoking. Obesity is quickly catching up to smoking though and it may soon be the number one most common cause of death in the USA. In fact, in even more sobering news, some experts note that our kids may be the first generation who won’t live as long as the previous generation, due to health issues caused by excess weight.

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