A new ad campaign against childhood obesity has drawn criticism for its depiction of overweight children as lonely and depressed. The campaign, spearheaded by Strong4Life, features taglines like "Some diseases aren't just for adults anymore" and "Being fat takes the fun out of being a kid," delivered by unhappy, overweight kids.
"If we do not wake up, this will be disastrous for our state," explained an official at the Georgia-based organization Children's Healthcare, which helped co-found Strong4Life. Other experts agree, and one Stanford University School of Medicine professor said, "To change deep-seated social and physiologic behavior like eating will require enormous work, and these ads will help the family start thinking about prevention."
The ads have already been met with plenty of backlash, though, partially because they don't actually suggest a solution to the obesity epidemic, and as one health expert complained, "Blaming the victim rarely helps. These children know they are fat, and they are ostracized already."
Yikes. Well, based on personal experience as a sad, chunky kid, these ads don't exactly feel like an overstatement. On the other, is it really a great idea to tell kids with weight problems how much it sucks to be them? Check out one of the spots below, and decide for yourself.