Do Georgia’s Child Obesity Ads Go Too Far?

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11 Responses to Do Georgia’s Child Obesity Ads Go Too Far?

  1. Max Williams says:

    I think that the only ads that really went too far were the ads with the last 2 children, Tina and Carlos. Their ads say that “being fat takes the fun out of being a kid”. This claim is not true in my opinion; although it may lead to some teasing I do not think that just because a child is overweight that he can’t have a fun childhood. These two try to make an emotional appeal even more than the first two ads with Bobby and Tamika.
    I think that other than that the ads were ok. Although they dealt with a tough subject, they stayed with facts in their videos and used the children’s emotional stories that any overweight child could have.
    The biggest problem I had with the campaign is that it didn’t seem like they suggested any kind of resources at all for the parents to go to about the issue, and they didn’t even tell them to maybe go see a doctor if they suspected their child may be overweight or obese.

  2. sean kim says:

    i agree with max above, i do not agree with them adding “being fat takes the fun out of being a kid” i don’t believe that’s true, kids can have just as much fun as any other kid. To me these ads are somewhat helpful for the parents and children to stand up for themselves, reading the article was telling me that obese children had the highest rate of being bullied yet there is no law against discrimination of weight, but there is many others. i think these ads sort of help bring awareness to there families but also can offend them at the same time, but also bring awareness.

  3. Molly Johnson says:

    I agree that this campaign has gone a little too far. The heart of the message is in the right place but the overall tone that the ads imply is wrong. “Stigma is not an effective motivator,” is a great quote from the article that sums up why this tactic was ineffective. Creating more of a negative outlook towards over weight and obese people only increases the amount of harassment this group will receive. I think they could have taken a more positive point of view and had over weight people saying they wanted to turn their life around or just promote healthier lifestyles.

  4. Again, I agree with the previous comments in that “being fat takes the fun out of being a kid” crosses the line of truth. I have to say that targeting the parents to change their family’s eating habits is definitely the best course of action in tackling the source of obesity, but doing so by making the parent feel guilt might backfire if they disagree with their children not having fun due to weight. Like Molly quoted, “stigma is not an effective motivator.” The first two ads are successful in launching an thoughtful and provocative reaction to the situation, while the latter ads directly dictate a stigma. I think it would be difficult to create a persuasive positive outlook to change Geogia’s happy eating habits, but I think the engaging feelings the first two ads provoke are a success.

  5. Leah Kennedy says:

    I have a hard time deciding how I feel about these ads. On one hand, I hold a lot of respect for people who are willing to advocate or share their story in support of a good cause. On the other, do these children really understand that this is what they are doing? And as mentioned in an earlier comment, the actual cause–the organization leading these efforts and that will provide more information to combat this problem–is missing from the actual advertisements. It also troubles me a bit that a big focus of the ads is laying blame on the parents. With childhood obesity, as with many complex issues facing our country, their is no one source, no one place to lay blame, and I find that blame only leads to defensiveness or guilt. While I agree with the ultimate message of these ads–that childhood obesity is a growing problem and Georgia is at the top of the list–I struggle to see how provoking these negative responses from parents will help the situation.

    • I agree entirely with Leah. My feelings are torn between respect and disturbed. Advocating sensitive issues such as obesity are not easy and can’t really be done in a light-hearted manner. The ability to go on TV and show the world this issue is not easy and is ultimately aiming to alert the public and warn them. On the other hand, I feel awful for these children having to go on TV and be the names and faces of such an embarrassing issue. Who knows if they wanted to or not? I am very curious as to whether the obesity rate went down or up after the release of these ads.

  6. Layc Looney says:

    The images of these children are truly heartbreaking. However, it is the truth. Our country has been gradually climbing to the top of the charts for the nation with the most obese people. I can remember hearing about childhood obesity and overall problems with obesity across the nation when I was in grade school. I continued to hear about it through middle and high school. It is an epidemic and people are dying for obesity or obesity related illnesses even more than before.
    Sometimes when problems reach a certain point all you can be is straight forward when facing them. No one wants to live like that and they should know that it is not okay to be that over weight. I understand that this is a touchy subject and children who are obese often lack friends, have been bullied, and suffer from states of depression. They need to be educated on becoming healthy and living healthy lifestyles. This will help them combat their weight issues and will help them feel better about themselves. Being aware of your child’s obesity isn’t for appearance reasons, instead it is to be aware of the importance of a healthy lifestyle. By seeing these blunt billboards and commercials people may begin to relate to the problem at hand and take a step further to seek help.
    I disagree with what Deb Lemire stated, “The message that gets to kids is,…’We’re saying we love you, we want you to have wonderful lives and be successful, but right now you’re just not good enough.” I believe the children are good enough. They are good enough that people like Michelle Obama want to help, correct their lifestyles and create opportunities for them to succeed.

  7. Ellie Boggs says:

    I think the most effective of the videos was the one about Bobby. It’s simple, to the point and calls out parents as an important factor contributing to childhood obesity. The most important factor in my opinion. It’s true, there are a variety of possible sources for childhood obesity but parents have the most influence on their child’s eating habits. It’s interesting that Bobby’s mom is also overweight in the commercial. This is a possible indicator that her own weight problems are influencing Bobby’s childhood obesity. Portraying that may be a good way to spur parents to tackle their own weight problems and simultaneously encourage their children toward a healthier weight.
    The other videos seemed a little jarring and on the verge of being offensive, which negates the message the ad is trying to get across.

  8. Kyle Ruble says:

    I wonder how Michigan enforces these laws against obesity discrimination. It really is a touchy subject for people who are larger and eventually produce overweight children. Placing them in the spotlight to look at their own problem is really not the way to go. When it comes down to it its about image and its the individuals choice to how they want to project themselves. A campaign like this is such a waste, if someone decides to lose weight its not going to be because of a message like this.

  9. Alexandra Reyes says:

    If I just looked at the image rather then read it all won’t really have a problem other then I don’t think its right that these kids were brought in by their parents. They clearly already have problems, why make it worse by showing them to the world. They will get hurt even more. The message should be proactive, but not demeaning. Yes life is harder for fatter kids, but pushing someone down and pointing it out doesn’t mean they will get back up. The message should be uplifting. Also parents are the problem, they let their kids eat a certain way. There are a lot of kids that are fat with fat parents. Its a family problem not just ones for kids. Extreme makeover: weight lose edition pointed that out to me. There are problems emotional with a lot of kids. There is a reason why they eat so much. Anti-discrimination laws only work so much.

  10. Scott Wooley says:

    I think they could have been more effective by taking this campaign in a completely different direction. Focus more on kids living an active lifestyle (similar to Play60) and less on the obesity not being fun. I’ve linked a Play60 ad.

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