Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Receiving Criticism About Their Obesity Ads

The Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is hearing strong criticism for their in-your-face advertisements concerning child obesity. The ads feature headlines such as “It’s hard to be a little girl if you're not.” The company will start to display ads on billboards with overweight children and uncomfortable messages. Later in the year, they will also start to release television advertisements. One of the TV ads shows a boy asking his overweight mother, “Mommy, why am I fat?” She simply sighs heavily while the commercial fades out.

The reason Children’s Healthcare decided to release these ads was a survey that they conducted in Atlanta, Georgia. They surveyed families with overweight children and 75 percent of parents did not see their children’s weight a problem. According to the data from the survey, over one-million children are considered obese in Georgia alone.

The campaign is called Strong4Life and is planned to cost $50 million over five years. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation recently donated $95,000 to help the cause, but Children’s Healthcare is expected to pay for at least $25,000,000 leaving the remainder for donations.

There are more advertisements upcoming and will feature different children from around Georgia. It’s sad that the country has to start a campaign to stop childhood obesity, but if that is what it takes, I am a supporter. Childhood obesity starts at home with what parents feed their kids, the amount of exercise children get, and if they have caring parents. Also, schools are removing physical education and recess time due to the costs. It is sad that the United States has to come to this, but I’m hoping organizations such as Strong4Life can turn this around.

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