Can You Scare Kids Into Losing Weight?

[YouTube Clip]

Well, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta is trying. It's battling childhood obesity (Georgia is ranked second highest in the United States) with its new ad campaign, which has been labeled "grim" and "building a climate of hate" by critics.

The ads, which appear on the campaign’s website, strong4life.com, are modeled after blunt — but effective — campaigns attacking methamphetamine use and smoking.

In one spot, an overweight girl named Maritza says: “My doctors say I have something called hypertension. I’m really scared.” And in another, that ends with “Being fat takes the fun out of being a kid,” a child named Tina says she doesn’t like going to school because the other kids pick on her.

Critics say the ads will further ostracize children such as Tina. In posts on the Strong4Life Facebook page, they accuse the campaign of building a “climate of hate.”

What do you think? Will that be effective?

Carrie Teegardin of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has the story: Link | Strong4Life website


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Kids today have a lot more indoor entertainment options than I did growing up. There was no internet, no video games, no PCs, no cable television. Actually, television was four whopping channels -- if you were lucky enough to live in a good-sized city. There was nothing else to do but go outside and run around and play. I don't recall more than a couple slightly-chubby kids in all my school days.
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The parents of obese kids are almost always to blame. There are two brothers in my son's school who are very overweight. The youngest at 5 is already the fattest kid in his class, although probably not obese. The oldest at 8 is frankly huge and gets out of breath walking from the car to the school door - well it is uphill. The thing is that their mother does something that no other parent in the school does. As soon as her kids walk out of the door at 3:30 she hands them fatty snacks.

I know there are mothers who continually feed their kids because they think they are being kind and that overweight kids look healthy, but that is delusional and needs to be dealt with. If such parents were harming their kids health in almost any other way they would be in serious trouble. Imagine a mother handing her kids cigarettes or alcohol at the school gates - she would be prosecuted. Parents who over feed their kids are guilty of child abuse.
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Society awards losing teams the same as winning teams in order to not hurt the little kiddies feelings, but the same society isolates, denigrates, and casts out fat kids. Kids are suspended from school for bullying because they played tag, but the school targets kids who are overweight.
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Yes I'm fat and no I don't need you or TV ads to tell me. I know. Believe me I know and have known for the last 55 years. I also don't need medication for high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes because I don't have them. I'm probably healthier than most of you but it's all about my gene's. I know I'm something of an aberration but a person's propensity to gain weight isn't all about overeating and their health isn't in decline just because of obesity. Genetics plays the biggest role in the health and size of our bodies.
Oh and Dennis X. Try and tease me into being skinny now and let's see how healthy you are at 60.
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A big part of the problem is that healthy food costs more than unhealthy food. Add to that the fact that kids are kept very busy these days (kids today have a lot more scheduled activities than they did when I was growing up), and running around means there's often no time to sit down and have a real dinner.
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