Mother of Overweight Son Reacts to Obesity Campaign

Monday, February 13, 2012

In August, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta began a billboard and television ads to raise awareness about childhood obesity, modeled after a successful anti-meth campaign. However, some health officials are concerned that the images and text in these ads are unnecessarily aggressive, and add to the stigma overweight children already face. In addition to sparking a month-long online protest in January, this controversial campaign has also inaugurated a discussion over whose "fault" childhood obesity is. 

Alison, a mother of an overweight son, says food served at her son's school is part of the problem. 

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja

Comments [4]

Darliene Howell from Las Vegas, NV

The only thing billboards, such as these, do is to stigmatize people and set them up for weight cycling. Rebecca Puhl, PhD, director of research at the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University in New Haven stated in a recent interview, “The real reality is that significant, sustainable weight loss is not achievable for most people.” She adds, “We know that the most that we can really expect people to lose and keep off over time from conventional weight loss programs is about 10% of body weight.”

“Of course, some people lose more than that, but the vast majority regains that weight within one to five years,” she says.

Studies show that dieting, even that considered “naturalistic”, among young people lead to weight cycling [Naturalistic weight reduction efforts predicted weight gain and onset of obesity in adolescent girls; http://ebn.bmj.com/content/3/3/88.full]

There is an evidence-based compassionate alternative to conventional dieting: Health At Every Size®. For more information on Health At Every Size, you can find a general explanation on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_at_Every_Size) or find in-depth research-based information in the book Health At Every Size - The Surprising Truth About Your Weight by Dr. Linda Bacon (http://www.lindabacon.org/HAESbook/).

Feb. 16 2012 06:32 AM
David Goldbeck from New York

One of the problems with childhood obesity is that vegetables and fruit are not well accepted by youngsters. A book that is freqently being used in many kid's programs to overcome this problem is my book, "The ABC's of Fruits & Vegetables and Beyond." It cleverly makes the names of fruits and vegetables new reader's first words which increases their acceptance feeding time and then goes "beyond" to hundreds of activities. I am happy to say that a number of educational programs in the U.S. have been buying it in bulk - but not nearly enough. If you would like to learn more visit http://www.healthyhighways.com/kc/index.htm

Feb. 13 2012 10:21 AM
caleb from jersey city

Role models: is this mom overweight herself?

Feb. 13 2012 08:24 AM
caleb from jersey city

Role models: is this mom overweight herself?

Feb. 13 2012 08:24 AM

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