Campaign Against Child Obesity Called "Harsh"

How would you feel if your child or brother or sister were profiled in one of these anti-obesity ads? 

The Children's Healthcare of Atlanta has taken emotional appeal to a new level to tackle the problem of childhood obesity in Georgia. Focusing on illness and social isolation, five videos show children who are obese and in distress. With this approach, the organization is trying to encourage families to take the issue seriously.

Critics say the organization's Strong4Life campaign has gone too far by stigmatizing the profiled children. Also, the ads give little guidance to how parents can help their overweight children.

Others say the ads attract attention, as they should, and that they are part of a five-year campaign that has just started. An executive at Children's Healthcare defends the campaign: "The whole goal of this is to get the discussion going," she said. "I love that it sparks dialogue, and a great dialogue has two sides." The organization also posted several comments on Facebook:

Discussion Starters:

  • What is your reaction to these ads? Do you find them offensive, effective, or something else?
  • How could the next phase of the campaign address the critics' concerns? What tactics would you recommend to the writers of the ads?