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Georgia's controversial obesity campaign


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  #1  
February 17th, 2012, 09:45 AM
tiredmom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Controversy Swirls Around Harsh Anti-Obesity Ads : NPR

Quote:
The ads are modeled after anti-smoking and anti-methamphetamine campaigns intended to shock the audience.
Quote:
The ads are part of a five-year, $25 million anti-obesity effort. It includes training pediatricians, getting programs in schools, and setting up a clinic to treat the medical and psychological issues related to obesity.
Quote:
But some question the strategy. According to Rodney Lyn of Georgia State University's Institute of Public Health, "This campaign is more negative than positive."
Based on his research, Lyn says, the ads can hurt the very market they're targeting. "We know that stigmatization leads to lower self-esteem, potential depression. We know that kids will engage in physical activity less because they feel like they're going to be embarrassed. So there are all these other negative effects," he says.
You can see one example of the print and a video on the above link.

What do you think? Effective for their shock value and necessary or stigmatizing and harmful?
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  #2  
February 17th, 2012, 10:13 AM
foxfire_ga79
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I've seen that billboard. I know what they're trying to accomplish but I doubt that girl is Ok with being the face of this particular campaign.
Yes it's got shock value, but I think it's just going to make kids embarrassed and parents defensive.
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  #3  
February 17th, 2012, 10:19 AM
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It's ok for the parents to see but they should never allow a child or an adolescent to see them.

And not all healthy kids are "little". That is just a bad choice of words. There will always be someone smaller than someone else. Like I said, these should not be seen by kids, they could lead to some serious self esteem issues. Just because a kid is fat doesn't mean that they HAVE to or DO hate themselves. No matter what age, if you are losing weight because you think you are going to love yourself while you are skinny, you are doing it for the wrong reasons.

I would like to see them focus on HOW to get healthy (I hate the term skinny) and WHY they should get healthy. You will never be able to convince these parents to feed their children healthy foods so they should stop trying. If they can make campaign geared towards children we would be surprised at how much kids will pick up on that. We have DARE for drugs and I remember countless assemblies being held at school about drugs and alcohol. If they could do something like that and make it fun I really think kids would respond and make better choices on their own. Maybe they even need to dedicate time each day to learning about healthy eating, just like any other school subject. I agree that it is a pretty negative campaign. They are dark and I feel no motivation to get out and exercise and eat healthy but it does make me want to cry and do some emotional eating.

Scare tactics just don't seem to work. You can show a picture of a cancerous lung to a hundred smokers and it won't make one of them quit. They have to want to and have to know why they need to. "It's not good for you" isn't a good enough reason, especially when almost everything "isn't good for you."
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  #4  
February 17th, 2012, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsLMB View Post
It's ok for the parents to see but they should never allow a child or an adolescent to see them.

And not all healthy kids are "little". That is just a bad choice of words. There will always be someone smaller than someone else. Like I said, these should not be seen by kids, they could lead to some serious self esteem issues. Just because a kid is fat doesn't mean that they HAVE to or DO hate themselves. No matter what age, if you are losing weight because you think you are going to love yourself while you are skinny, you are doing it for the wrong reasons.

I would like to see them focus on HOW to get healthy (I hate the term skinny) and WHY they should get healthy. You will never be able to convince these parents to feed their children healthy foods so they should stop trying. If they can make campaign geared towards children we would be surprised at how much kids will pick up on that. We have DARE for drugs and I remember countless assemblies being held at school about drugs and alcohol. If they could do something like that and make it fun I really think kids would respond and make better choices on their own. Maybe they even need to dedicate time each day to learning about healthy eating, just like any other school subject. I agree that it is a pretty negative campaign. They are dark and I feel no motivation to get out and exercise and eat healthy but it does make me want to cry and do some emotional eating.

Scare tactics just don't seem to work. You can show a picture of a cancerous lung to a hundred smokers and it won't make one of them quit. They have to want to and have to know why they need to. "It's not good for you" isn't a good enough reason, especially when almost everything "isn't good for you."
Are you saying all education campaigns are ineffective?
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  #5  
February 17th, 2012, 11:17 AM
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I hope this girl consented to being on that billboard and for that purpose.

I do think we need better education and all that, but I really don't see how the billboard is going to really do anything.
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  #6  
February 17th, 2012, 11:20 AM
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I showed this picture to an eight year old:



And she decided it was time to lose 5lbs (she is currently 35lbs over average, but average in height wearing a 10/12 size clothing). I didn't show it to her to make her want to lose weight, she wanted to know what I was looking at....

anecdotal story over...


I don't think this is going to work. I can't see how billboarding "hey you, little kid, you're fat!" is going to help anybody's esteem. Putting someone down doesn't really help everybody. I know if you stood there and yelled "you're fat, you're fat, you're fat!" at me I'm going to looking for ice cream to make myself feel better. Yes, I am fat. I'm well aware of it, but constantly reminding me of it doesn't motivate me to change it, it makes me feel sad and depressed and I'm back into the viscous cycle!


I agree with foxfire too.
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  #7  
February 17th, 2012, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiredmom View Post
Are you saying all education campaigns are ineffective?
I am saying they should put more emphasis on educating the children, not the parents.
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  #8  
February 17th, 2012, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsLMB View Post
I am saying they should put more emphasis on educating the children, not the parents.
call be stupid, but how does that help in the short term? A child asking for something healthy doesn't mean they're going to get it if mom and dad doesn't think that it's worth purchasing. If they thought it was good, they'd probably have already been buying it.
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  #9  
February 17th, 2012, 12:17 PM
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Yeah I agree with Ashley. I do think it's great to educate children in school about healthy eating, but mom and dad are the ones who actually buy the food and they need to be educated too.
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  #10  
February 17th, 2012, 01:06 PM
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But the children are the ones who grow up and either follow the same pattern as the adult, or make different choices b/c they're educated about a healthier way of living.

I think a combo of both is needed.
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  #11  
February 17th, 2012, 02:43 PM
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I know that if kids nag enough parents might give in and get them what they want, and a bag of carrots is cheaper than a box of Twinkies. Teach the kids to "sell" their parents on the idea.
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  #12  
February 17th, 2012, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxfire_ga79 View Post
I know that if kids nag enough parents might give in and get them what they want, and a bag of carrots is cheaper than a box of Twinkies. Teach the kids to "sell" their parents on the idea.
So its the government's job to teach the kids to teach their parents how to eat healthy?
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  #13  
February 17th, 2012, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by BittyBugsMama View Post
So its the government's job to teach the kids to teach their parents how to eat healthy?
Yes. That's exactly what I meant. lol


No it's not the government's job to be thinking about my kids' food period. But if they're going to butt in then they should do so in the manner most likely to get results. Kind of like toy commercials. It's not the toy companies' job to teach my kids how to play safely, just to get my kids to get me to buy what they say I "should."
They have to get people on their side about it. If their message instantly makes people think "aw man, more rules" then it's not going to work.
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  #14  
February 17th, 2012, 04:11 PM
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I'm trying to picture a commercial that is kid friendly for healthy foods like veggies, that will make the kids go "mom I just NEED those carrot sticks!!!!!"
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  #15  
February 17th, 2012, 04:16 PM
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Then maybe that's why you're not an ad exec. If something can be sold, it can be marketed. It doesn't HAVE to be a TV commercial. It can be programs at school that encourage kids to eat more veggies. Maybe they'd have personal goal charts they check off milestones on, I don't know. I'm not in advertising either. But if they can sell the garbage toys they already manage to sell, then they can sell decent foods too.
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  #16  
February 17th, 2012, 04:26 PM
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Nah, I'm not an ad exec. because I love the job I already have I'm just honestly trying to picture advertisment to kids for veggies (I'm saying veggies more because a lot of the kids I know will eat fruit no problem, but it's veggies they are iffy about) that will make them ask their parents for them. I guess you could have like a talking carrot or something, but some kids get too attached to something they think can talk, so they wouldn't want to eat the carrots for example.

Honestly I think it makes more sense to advertise to the parents of healthy eating for a better over all lifestyle. I also think you have to lead by example. If I eat the same foods I expect my kids to eat then they are more likely to want to eat the foods too. But if I eat pizza with fries and a pop, they're going to ask for that and reject their food.
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  #17  
February 17th, 2012, 04:37 PM
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Yes, a carrot stick and a celery stick doing the tango and telling kids how fun it is to involve veggies in your life. If you eat all your veggies, someday you can be as cool as this carrot!
Or not.
Yes, advertise where parents can see it. But why publicly humiliate a kid that's over weight with an ad like that? And what about when that just puts parents on the defensive?
They have to be really careful to not come off as preachy, it's a huge turn off.
There's got to be something that's better than putting up pictures of overweight kids. Gotta be.
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  #18  
February 17th, 2012, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxfire_ga79 View Post
Yes. That's exactly what I meant. lol


No it's not the government's job to be thinking about my kids' food period. But if they're going to butt in then they should do so in the manner most likely to get results. Kind of like toy commercials. It's not the toy companies' job to teach my kids how to play safely, just to get my kids to get me to buy what they say I "should."
They have to get people on their side about it. If their message instantly makes people think "aw man, more rules" then it's not going to work.
Ok. Your opinion between the two food debates just seems to be different and I was trying to understand where you are coming from.

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Originally Posted by HappyHippy View Post
Nah, I'm not an ad exec. because I love the job I already have I'm just honestly trying to picture advertisment to kids for veggies (I'm saying veggies more because a lot of the kids I know will eat fruit no problem, but it's veggies they are iffy about) that will make them ask their parents for them. I guess you could have like a talking carrot or something, but some kids get too attached to something they think can talk, so they wouldn't want to eat the carrots for example.

Honestly I think it makes more sense to advertise to the parents of healthy eating for a better over all lifestyle. I also think you have to lead by example. If I eat the same foods I expect my kids to eat then they are more likely to want to eat the foods too. But if I eat pizza with fries and a pop, they're going to ask for that and reject their food.
I know my son really responds to the Yo Gabba Gabba "Party in my tummy" song. Really, any type of food being eaten in a cartoon, he asks me for. I agree that its about leading by example which is why I make sure I now make enough dinner for all three of us (the little one doesn't really eat what we do yet) because if we have pizza and I make him ham and mashed potatoes, he wants the pizza and refuses to eat the ham and potatoes. I guess it is good in a way because it is forcing us to eat more healthy and it keeps me from getting fast food because its now $3-$5 more expensive to go get food since he wants whatever we have. Healthier food + saving money = win win for me.
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  #19  
February 17th, 2012, 04:42 PM
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In a perfect world, yes it would be better to teach the parents but it is awful hard to change an adult of their old ways. Even harder to make them see that they have been wrong, their parents were wrong and their grandparents were wrong. Change is hard for adults.

I think that children would respond much faster to the information. I think that a child going home and saying "Mom, this food isn't healthy" would send much more of a message than what they are trying to do here. This is something that schools would have to put into the curriculum and teach for the long haul. At least if their parents can't make good decisions then they will have the knowledge to make their own good decisions when they get older.
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  #20  
February 17th, 2012, 04:44 PM
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I don't agree with the obese girl billboard. We have some billboards here that show just plain fruits and veggies and it's something like strawberry + broccoli = stick figure person being active/happy/etc.

Songs are great for younger kids. It makes it fun and then they learn what the foods are.
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