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Strong4Life has some critics complaining about its recent string of public service announcements addressing the obesity problem in Georgia. The announcements are part of a $50 million campaign to prevent obesity in a state where nearly one million children are obese and 75% of parents of overweight children don’t recognize obesity as a problem. Georgia trails Mississippi as one of the most obese states in the nation.

In an effort to prevent further digression, Strong4Life has incorporated several announcements that are meant to raise awareness about obesity and its effects. Many alerts feature overweight children who discuss their experiences with obesity from a negative perspective. The kids talk about the teasing that they must endure at school and various diseases that they are exposed to because of weight gain. The segment usually ends with a powerful slogan like “being fat takes the fun out of being a kid,” or “some diseases aren’t just for adults anymore.”

While Strong4Life defends its announcements by saying “Ignoring this problem is what got us here. It’s time to wake up,” many professionals criticize the ads because they do not offer a solution to the problem. As Karen Hilyard of the University of Georgia states, “We know from communication research that when we highlight a health risk but fail to provide actionable steps people can take to prevent it, the response is often either denial or some other dysfunctional behavior.”

Check out a PSA and tell us what you think!

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  1. I live in Georgia and what angered me most was that on not ONE commercial what there ever a white child. Only African-American and Hispanic. This is a disservce to the overweight white children in this state (and country) where they are not acknowledged as well. In addition, it sends the wrong message that only minorities are overweight when that is simply not the case.

  2. Let me say this just because ur obese doesn’t mean u don’t eat right or go out and play! I have always been a big kid did I get tease absolutely and it bothered me terribly! I’m very active to this day and I’m still a big woman not obese just big! Parents need to teach their children that teasing and bullying other kids because their different is horrible! I wish this baby the absolute best and it shall get better :)

  3. This breaks my heart. This child is in pain because of the bullying and cruel comments he must endure every day of his young life. There are a multitude of economic and social reasons for obesity and it is hardly a coicidence that obesity is such a major health threat in our community.

    Solutions? First we need a wake-up call and I believe this ad does just that. Fast food and inactivity are killing our young people in greater numbers than a speeding bullet.

    We adults should take full responsibility for the meanness that we foster by making fun of fat. We must take responsibility for the food choices we make for our children in our schools and homes.

  4. I’m concerned about how traumatizing it must be to be one of the kids chosen for those campains. Their faces are plastered all over the city talking about how fat they are.

  5. I can’t check the PSA at work, but in a state where it’s warm out more times than not, how can one not spend most of that time outdoors? Children need to be out running just to be running. There are too many sports activities they can be involved in for them to be obese.

    The parents that do not think there’s a problem are probably obese themselves.

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