The Georgia Children’s Health Alliance launched a fairly controversial anti-obesity campaign called Strong4Life, addressing the state’s growing childhood obesity issue. The campaign is quite blunt, featuring series of ads and billboards with gloomy-looking overweight children accompanied by statements such as “WARNING. It’s hard to be a little girl if you’re not.” Videos allow for even greater frankness.
Yes, there is an obesity problem. And yes, it is a very critical problem. However, these ads do nothing to help actively correct the situation, all they really do, is point out the obvious. For any overweight kid to lose weight lots of things need to happen, it isn’t as simple as saying, “stop eating kid.” There are many deep, underlying, and complex reasons kids become overweight and until those issues are addressed, brutally reminding a parent (or kid as kids will see some of these ads) that being an overweight child stinks, isn’t really being helpful at all. In many cases, the parent doesn’t even acknowledge that their child is overweight, so just throwing it in their face is pointless.
While I applaud the Georgia Children’s Health Alliance for not sitting on the sidelines on this issue, I think their ad dollars might be better spent on education, counseling and nutritional guidance for those in need. In my book this is a GWH W.T.F.* (Winner. Toss-Up, or Flop) Award Toss-Up — good intentions, but not so great action plan to truly fight the issue in a meaningful way.