Controversial Anti-Obesity Campaigns Have Ascended
The motive behind these campaigns appears to be an inspiration for behavior change and the videos do make an impression. Some support these bold moves and others criticize these efforts as ‘shaming tactics’ that are more offensive than motivating.
Watch The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota’s anti-obesity campaign!
Marc Manley, is the chief prevention officer who boasts of suing cigarette companies and using the $241 million settlement to, “work in tobacco prevention, physical activity and healthy eating.”
Marc, Valerie’s Voice wants to know, why are these advertisements exploiting kids?
Why not sue the food companies? Why not work to change legislation to help improve the food supply.
We, the people, need you on our side to help make changes to the food supply and to provide reimbursement for people to get the support they need from nutritionists, health coaches, psychologists and teams that are prepared to help support this crisis.
Watch this too, from Children’s Healthcare in Atlanta!
Negative images of obese children as the ones I have shown above looking sad with accompanying messages like, “Being fat takes the fun out of being a kid,” and “It’s hard to be a little girl if you’re not (little).”
Linda Matzigkeit, Chief Administrative Officer, explains about the Strong4Life campaign, “We felt that because there was so much denial that we needed to make people aware that this is a medical crisis,”
Linda, Valerie’s Voice wants to know, “Do you think people are unaware, when they take their kids to the doctor and they are diagnosed with high cholesterol or diabetes?” “Do you think you cannot have fun if you are fat?” How ’bout using your money to provide ALL children with free access to a multidisciplinary healthcare team and not just the ones who appear like zombies in advertisements, like Maya.
Reality check —this Strong4Life campaign is prejudicial and offensive. I agree with Rebecca Puhl, director of research and weight stigma initiatives at the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University, “Strong4Life campaign were too negative and perpetuated weight-based stereotypes without providing concrete solutions.”
Let me also point out:
1. Maya is not losing weight or active in sports because she saw the ads, she is being given access to the Health4Life clinic where she is being supported by a team of healthcare professionals, doctors, psychologists, nutritionists and exercise physiologists.
2. Maya looks nothing like the advertisement, she is beautiful and dynamic in her interview and yes, she is overweight too! You would not know that from the ad she appears in.
Why not weigh-in? Will people change their eating behavior when they see these ads?
- Can these Minnesota ads reduce obesity? (washingtonpost.com)
- Obesity Campaigns: The Fine line Between Educating And Shaming (theatlantic.com)