A Campaign Against Childhood Obesity

At my toddler’s two-year check up last week, they gave me the stat sheet that said he was 33 pounds, which is the 97th percentile. A few days later, when he had a fever and I took him back in, they asked how his appetite was. I said he wouldn’t eat. The doctor looked at him and said, “He could stand to miss a few meals.” He’s not a fat kid. None of my kids are. My children may likely never struggle with their weight. My ex and I are both thin, though I struggled with my weight after having kids. But, the comment left me feeling a little sensitive for him.

Today, a friend sent me a link to a story about Mommy bloggers taking on some anti-obesity ads. The state of Georgia has this new campaign called “Strong 4 Life.” It’s aimed at getting parents and kids to “stop sugarcoating” childhood obesity. The Mommy bloggers are, in a word, pissed. They call the ad campaign “shame tactics.”

I went to the site and watched the five ads. They made me sad. They all feature overweight kids talking about the struggles of being fat.

I hesitate to say anymore. Go watch the ads. Tell me what you think. Would this help in the fight against childhood obesity?



8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Frost
    Feb 01, 2012 @ 12:34:54

    I agree with the adds, and I agree with the responses. It is up to parents to get their children off the couch, away from the video games and stop stuffing fast food at them every night. They children get ridiculed and shamed every day from their peers, the adds are aimed at shaming the parents into helping their children.


    • Mom Land
      Feb 02, 2012 @ 13:11:19

      Frost, I felt bad for the actual kids they used in those ads! Can you imagine how much crap they’ll get from their peers?


      • Frost
        Feb 10, 2012 @ 13:16:12

        These children have continued their “15 minutes” in the spotlight by going on other sites and shows, they have been sharing their stories of how they choose to do the billboards and how they have had a positive outcome with friends and family supporting them. Their parents are also making a positive change in their lives for both the children and themselves.
        I do agree the billboards were harsh, but they have gotten peoples attention (alot of attention) and I think that was the point.
        As for the mom’s and dad’s who make the right choices and keep their kids active, there is no reason to be defensive. You know you are doing the right thing for your child and these billboards were not put there to put you down. They were there to make people aware that there is a real problem out there and we should not close our eyes. Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years and the effects follow into adulthood.
        I understand both Samantha and Kim’s aggravation and kuddo’s ladies for keeping your cool. I have a sister who also went through a similar situation at a pediatricians. She handled it by walking to the door and asking if she might have a word in the hallway for a minute, she then proceeded to inform the doctor that her bedside manner (just like my sister’s leftover pregnancy weight) needed a little work and children come in all shapes and sizes. The doctor apologized and they actually became friends and workout buddies. Funny world.
        No, we can not judge a book by it’s cover.

      • Mom Land
        Feb 10, 2012 @ 16:41:02

        AK Frost- good notes. It’s hard to see kids hurting. 😦

        Sent from my MOTOROLA ATRIX™ 2 on AT&T

  2. Kim
    Feb 01, 2012 @ 13:00:22

    OH MY GOODNESS THESE ADDS HIT A NERVE!!!! First off not ALL kids eating habits are to blame. I have two sons who are 11 months apart ( one is “normal” size) both eat the same, I might add that I don’t allow my kids to eat junk food, in fact I make a lot of homemade stuff vs buying boxed meals due to one of my son’s is considered part of the childhood obesity group. We’ve taken him to dr’s and put him on restricted calorie diets, including having a membership to a gym that is very much out of the way but because during a group class for me they have one for his age group so he’s not sitting in the daycare coloring, he’s burning calories too. The dr’s, my husband and I have settled on the fact this is the way that the good Lord has made him and so be it. My son is not even in double digits in his age yet and they have doomed him an early death because of his size. I personally as a parent am very sensitive for heavier set children and I agree that some of it is the blame of the parents who don’t try to be a good role model for their children. Then there are others like myself that try their hardest to be a good role model and providing food that even a nutritionist aproves of and still see no change.
    So I don’t think the ads are all that great because not all situations are the same and judgement being passed on the parents is unfair because NO ONE knows what goes on behind closed doors. I’ve had someone come up to me and comment about my child and it took everything of my being not to punch the man out. My response was actually very mature and for those that know me personally knew that God had a hold of my tongue. I decided to be a good role model to MY children and not react in anger or reply in a vulgar way. I just asked him if he had looked in the mirror lately and walked away. For my other children that don’ t have a weight issues I hope I am raising them not to judge others.
    Sorrry for the rant, but I’m just sensitive in regards to the subject.


  3. Samantha
    Feb 01, 2012 @ 13:17:23

    I had a similar experience with the PA at my pediatrician’s office as you. She basically told me I needed to feed my 5 y/o daughter better foods, less TV and exercise her more. She did NOT listen to me as I spouted, proudly, the diet that our family has (mostly organics), the amount of TV hours I allow, and the amount of activity my children have. She proceeded to judge me (I’m slightly overweight) and put her own judgement on my child, right in front of my influential 5 year old daughter! I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life. It was a goal of mine when I became a mother to make sure I was providing healthy meals, snacks, and the occasional sweet in collaboration to healthy activities for my children. I was APPALLED to say the least that my the physician’s assistant felt she had the gall to judge my parenting. And worst of all to tell me that if I “don’t start teaching her healthy habits now, she’ll struggle later in life with her weight” right in front of her.

    My daughter is solid as a rock. The thing that the anti-obesity ads don’t take into consideration is genetics and body structure. I think that we could probably get out more and enjoy life more and spend less time using technology, but to outright put a generic blanket of laziness or unhealthy eating habits on all kids that are a overweight is sad.

    In closing, I’d like to say that my daughter is one of the most healthiest kids I interact with. She’s smart, friendly, and a joy to be a mother to. I know I’m doing my best. And I hope that other mothers and fathers out there that know they are doing the right things with their children, don’t take these ads to heart.


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