Too Harsh for TV? Anti-Childhood Obesity Ads Anger Parents

As we lay down our plans and goals for the New Year we should remember to think of how we can improve our children's lives as well. A recent ad campaign in Georgia wants parents to wake up and help their kids get healthy in 2012. The ads, which are causing some controversy, feature kids speaking candidly about what it feels like to be overweight.

Shot in black and white, the children have a serious confessional tone while they recount all of the issues overweight children must deal with on a daily basis in between messages that flash on the screen like, "Being fat takes the fun out of being a kid."

A recent report from the NY Daily News discusses the ads in Georgia, where childhood obesity is a serious problem ranking 2nd in the nation. Senior vice president at Children's Healthcare, Linda Matzigkeit, is quoted defending the harshness of the ads' tone. Matzigkeit says, "We felt like we needed a very arresting, abrupt campaign that said: 'Hey Georgia! Wake up. This is a problem' If we do not wake up, this will be disastrous for our state."

Those that take issue with the ads think they may cause more harm than good, lowering a child's self-confidence and making them feel guilty for being overweight. Some also say the ads are nothing but shock value and offer no solution for parents to help their kids get healthy.

What do you think of these controversial anti-childhood obesity ads? Do they send a helpful message to kids and parents?

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