Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has produced a series of ads supposedly with the intention of curbing childhood obesity. I am including some images and video, but after the jump, since these ads are incredibly triggering. Because what they are, simply put, is bullying.
Billboards show black and white pictures of children with captions like, “Warning: Fat prevention begins at home. And the buffet line,” and “Warning: It’s hard to be a little girl if you’re not.” TV ads feature parents and children looking sad and sitting in chairs that creek.
This is just cruel body snark. The ads offer nothing but shame, which I refuse to accept as an effective strategy for health education.
The way we’ve come to link fat and health is an overly simplistic take on a complex reality. What’s not complicated is that bullying is bad for your health. It’s psychologically harmful, which is a health issue, and which can lead to plenty of other negative health outcomes.
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is standing behind their campaign, called Strong4Life. It’s a big project for them, with a budget of $50 million dollars.
I’m saddened by the idea people think it’s not just OK but helpful to be this mean.
To tell them bullying and shame are not health care, you can contact the campaign via Twitter @strong_4_life or on their Facebook page (warning: offensive text and images abound). You can email Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta here. While I won’t advocate calling one of their hospitals and clogging their phone lines, I absolutely support calling their giving line at 404-785-GIVE (4483).