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Hey Diet.com members and visitors! Happy Jan 5 :)

We like to keep you guys in the loop when we find diet- or health-related pieces in the news, and felt like this latest anti-childhood obesity ad campaign out of Georgia was definitely worth bringing to your attention.

If you haven't seen or heard about this campaign yet, it is basically comprised of several shock-value-type ads aimed at bringing attention to the childhood obesity crisis that's prevalent in not only Georgia, but across the entire United States. Some are describing the ads as a "brutal dose of honesty," while others are decrying them as cruel.

The campaign, dubbed the "Stop Sugarcoating" campaign, is made up of videos, billboards and print advertisements that feature overweight Georgia children. Some feature taglines like, "It's hard to be a little girl if you're not," or feature children asking their parents, "Mom, why am I fat?"

View more of the ads here.

We want to know YOUR opinion on these ads. Are they helpful or harmful? Or maybe a blend of both? The fact that it's been in the news so much lately shows that it's at least shining some light and attention on what is a major problem in Georgia (the state with the 2nd highest rate of childhood obesity, behind Mississippi) and the US... but is it useful attention? Will this campaign do anything to reverse the trends?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

@ 1:47pm ET on January 5, 2012
I kind of doubt its going to be very helpful. After all, the parents of these children should already be well aware that their child is obese. Fat rolls are cute on a baby... if your child is walking/running/talking and still has fat rolls... its just not cute. If you can't look at your child and recognize that there is a problem, then seeing ads like those aren't going to bring your attention to it any better.

I hope there is some sort of positive impact, of course... but I just don't know if this is the way to help fix it.

@ 4:36pm ET on January 5, 2012
I'm from Georgia and am not surprised that the state is 2nd for childhood obesity. I would say that 90% of the children that are obese have parents that are as well and most likely grandparents too.
I like the "in your face" approach. Will it do any good, most likely not. If the parents cared there children would be on diets and unplugged from the TV/computer.

@ 6:02pm ET on January 5, 2012

Its a start. And, one has to start somewhere…

As I watched the ads (especially the ABC News video video clip), it reminded me of the original "don't drink and drive" ads - from MADD. They would show a totalled vehicle, then show the normal looking person (who could be me or you) being arrested (and off to jail). Yes, a typical "in one's face" ad to get the viewers to notice, then it states "don't drink and drive". Luckily, todays MADD ads are much better. They now promote, "if one drinks that 1 time per month, then call a friend, take a taxi or take the train" alternatives. Simple alternatives to proactively eliminate the vehicle collision in the 1st place.

IMO, these fat kid ads are in one's face. But, they lack the "corrective" common steps to pull out of the situation. For example, how many calories per day for kids? How much carbs per day for kids? How much physical exercise per day? How many servings of veggies, fruit and nuts per day? What is a serving size? Why is younger age fish better then older age fish? Why is whole grain better then white / process grains better? Why is "process" foods loaded with chemicals / toxins really bad for you? Its like the ad is only "1/2 completed". re: OK - you got my "in my face" attention - now what? They really didn't answer the now what alternatives….

Also… This type of add is really showing "neglected" kids. Yes, neglected. Their parents or guardian FAILED to teach (and enforce) these kid's proper lifestyle choices of better eating and better exercise at a young age. And, year after year, their body was allowed to expand - to dpangerious states. Since we are the guardians of our own kids, its the parents fault - NOT the kids fault. Perhaps it would be best to show the parents of these kids. Actually, it would be much better to "teach" the parents of these kids what "better" lifestyles are available - for them and their kids. Show them "alternatives" to safety correct the situation, and keep a happy life moving forward.

IMO, the "in one's face" approach should be re-molded to be a more corrective message. And, to teach the viewers corrective / proper alternatives. Just like in MADD ads…. If one is going to get stinking drunk new year's night, they can simply take a taxi home. If one is going to eat a chocolate bar as a special treat, then go jog or play ball with your friends for 30+ minutes. Thus, still allowing a person the special sweet treat (when its earned) but one gives appropriate correction action behind it.

And yes, I too would agree many of the kids and adults within my region are "too plump" (including my body) as well. These folks need to be taught better daily lifestyle choices as well….. Hopefully, the media can help teach us all…. Just like aggressive MADD campaign is teaching responsible party night drinking behaviour (with corrective alternatives) as well….


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