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Anti-Obesity Campaign Draws Fire

But Children's Healthcare of Atlanta defends ads aimed at overweight children and their parents.

health campaign by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) has garnered national attention but is also drawing criticism as well.

The CHOA campaign, Strong4Life, is designed to bring attention to the serious health risks associated with childhood obesity. According to the CHOA website, Georgia has the second highest rate of childhood obesity in the nation with 40 percent of Georgia’s children categorized as overweight or obese.

As part of the campaign, CHOA has placed its “Stop Childhood Obesity” message on billboards, ads and commercials across the Atlanta area. The ads, which depict overweight children, have made some experts uncomfortable, Time Magazine reports.

“As a society, we are not comfortable talking about fat,” said David Katz, editor-in-chief of the journal Childhood Obesity, in the Time Magazine interview. “People look at the ad where the child is saying, Why am I fat, and they start projecting. The ads are being complicated by biases people carry with them.”

An ABC News report questioned whether the ads could end up stigmatizing the very children the campaign is meant to help.

"Blaming the victim rarely helps," said Dr. Miriam Labbok, director of the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to ABC News. "These children know they are fat and that they are ostracized already."

M. Stone January 06, 2012 at 04:10 PM
The problem lies with the parents and if anyone should be targeted by ads, it should be the adults. Including teachers who use candy as incentives in the schools.
Rev. Lionel R. Gantt January 07, 2012 at 11:18 AM
America needs to take a hard look at itself. The real truth behind all the rejection and bad press saying that ad's are hash and likely to stigmatize overweight children is the fact that the First Lady of the President of the United States is the main force out here promoting this campaign. So now the so called "Powers That Be" (through negative Ad campaigns and Lobby back dollars) out of the pure hate in their hearts have fought everything done by this President. People, all you have to do on any given day is look out your window at the people you pass by every day. You will see at least five out of ten people you pass by in Georgia are overweight and even more so in our school aged children. The American people so willing to attack President Obama (because He is Black) at all cost are fighting just to be fighting. This is clearly “Another case of party politics TRASH TALKING over sound health care.” As the American People we will no longer be fooled by this corporate greed and hate lead party government mess. America is destroying itself from the inside out. Anything that is hate based is not a good example for our children and it is not a good example for Georgia. We must educate our youth in the truth and leave Party Government behind. We all know the truth sometimes hurt and our children should not have go through that hurt which is caused by "Childhood Obesity". Rev Lionel Gantt Cobb SCLC - Stop the Violence and Incarceration 2012 Campaign.

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