Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Obesity Ads (Read 1741 times)

    Original ads here.

     

    This is a Minnesotan's take on the ads.  There is part of me that likes the ads because I feel as a nation we need to be realistic about wieght...on the other hand, I've also worked in social work and counseling and confronting issues when people are not ready to deal with them doesn't help much either.  AKA Someone can't decide for you that it is time for you to get healthy.

     

    Similar discussion on weight and obesity in general here.

    2014 Goals:

    Not destroy my back while running.

      Another article here.

       

      I'm torn as well. Don't people already realize there is a problem? [Maybe not--one ad, linked in the NPR article--says that 75% of Georgian parents with overweight kids do not recognize the problem.]

       

      "Based on his research, Lyn says, the ads can hurt the very market they're targeting. "We know that stigmatization leads to lower self-esteem, potential depression. We know that kids will engage in physical activity less because they feel like they're going to be embarrassed. So there are all these other negative effects," he says."


      Feeling the growl again

        Part of me likes that someone has gotten past the coddling and is willing to call a spade a spade.  Part of me understands (especially through personal experience with loved ones) that the psychological and behavioral drivers behind obesity are complex, and calling them out in ads such as this will likely help very many people regardless of whether it makes them feel bad or not.

         

        I'll liken the obesity problem to the one with education.  In both cases we have groups that just want to place blame where it is easy to, and throw money at the problem, but these solutions rely on incredibly naive and simplistic assumptions as to the causes and drivers of the problem and are pretty much a waste of time.

         

        My wife once had a patient come in with multiple health problems related to their weight.  The patient was 209 lbs.  My wife diplomatically tried to counsel the patient's mother that the best way to solve the issues was through diet and exercise, there was no good pharmaceutical solution for the problems presented and the patient was at risk of severe complications if the status quo continued.  The mother got irate at my wife for implying that her daughter was fat and stormed out.

         

        Her 209 lb daughter was 9 years old. 

         

        One would think the obesity problem is self-evident and people realize the issues, but we're a bunch of "pencil neck runners".  In the real world it's amazingly opaque, many have become numb to it because the problem is so widespread that being overweight is "normal" in most parts of this nation.  The couple trips I took to Europe last year were eye-opening, the difference in obesity rate was immediately evident...as was the difference in food choices and cultural norms regarding meals in a lot of the airports etc.

        "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

         

        RunsForCake


          Sadly a lot of these kids come from obese parents who don't take care of their own health so the cycle continues.

            I think these ads are the best I've ever seen. 

             

            I was a fat kid.  Really fat.  I lost the weight, well 100 pounds of it anyway.  I never even thought about losing weight until one day when my track coach (I threw shot put, no running for me back then) told me I was too heavy in a very honest, blunt, but kind and caring way.  I needed tough love back then, and he was the only one that would give it to me.  Sure I got picked on every single day of my life by almost everyone around me, but I just figured all those people were assholes.  Once someone came to me and acted like they cared enough about me to address the problem head on, I was able to see it myself and do something about it.

             

            I'm sure not everyone will respond to tough love like I did, but this obesity problem needs to stop.  If these ads reach out to anyone, I say they're worth it.  I think they may have helped reach out to me when I needed it.  Maybe.  I've been to Georgia, and it's really bad down there.  It's bad where I live in Maine, too, but it's nothing compared to Atlanta.


            Feeling the growl again

              I think these ads are the best I've ever seen. 

               

              I was a fat kid.  Really fat.  I lost the weight, well 100 pounds of it anyway.  I never even thought about losing weight until one day when my track coach (I threw shot put, no running for me back then) told me I was too heavy in a very honest, blunt, but kind and caring way.  I needed tough love back then, and he was the only one that would give it to me. 

               

              I was fat too, I think I hit 180lbs at one point before I reached full height (so maybe 5'5" or 5'6"?).  I got teased my share, I guess it never really sunk in.  I think what really did it is when I saw a video of myself shot at school.  I was embarassed, just like people say kids will be by these commercials.  However, some kids will react like I did and set about fixing the problem.

               

              I'm not convinced the majority, who won't be reached, will be so irreparably harmed psychologically that they will be any worse off than before.  They're likely already struggling with those issues, commercials aside.

               

              I will admit I haven't taken the time to sit and watch through the ads in their entirety, just gotten the snippets here and there.  I hope they show the journey some kids who have lost the weight have taken.  For me, what really helped me succeed as I lost the weight was being freed from the chains of fat and starting to be able to do things I had not been able to do before.  I think if you could really get that message across it would be impactful for some.

              "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

               


              just a simple cat

                Stock Photography - 1950s high school 
dance with large 
crowd of teen 
couples in a conga. 
fotosearch - search 
stock photos, 
pictures, wall 
murals, images, 
and photo clipartold photos of groups of people highlight it too.  How slender everyone used to be!   (not just the distance runners) 

                 

                I  guess as you get more bodacious, you begin to lose more brain cells, because there is a limit to how much magnificence your body can house

                  These ads might have snapped me out of it--I was on the fat train until about a year ago.  I'm about 6', but I'd let myself get up to 227 lbs.  

                   

                  I didn't think I "looked fat," despite the fact that I'd gained about 8" to my waist since high school.  It'd creeped on gradually.    It took a relative mentioning how he thought the BMI scale was unfair since it flagged him as obsese with a BMI of 30+.  Said relative was someone I'd always seen as fat.

                   

                  Imagine my surprise when I checked my own BMI and found out it was 30+.  D'oh.

                   

                  So, anyway, I can sympathize that some obese people might not realize they're that far overweight.  I certainly didn't.

                  "When a person trains once, nothing happens. When a person forces himself to do a thing a hundred or a thousand times, then he certainly has developed in more ways than physical. Is it raining? That doesn't matter. Am I tired? That doesn't matter, either. Then willpower will be no problem." 
                  Emil Zatopek

                     For me, what really helped me succeed as I lost the weight was being freed from the chains of fat and starting to be able to do things I had not been able to do before. 

                     

                    Man, that's a really cool message--really this insight should be at the core of everything we teach young people, whether it's taking care of the body or learning science or how to write and read.

                      old photos of groups of people highlight it too.  How slender everyone used to be!   (not just the distance runners) 

                       

                      Really.

                       

                      Having grown up in the 60s and 70s, I recall that there was always the "fat kid" in our class or sometimes in the entire school. Having watched the majority of the U.S. population become overweight, then, is particularly baffling to me.

                       

                      We had fast food, TV, and unwillingness to exercise back then, too. My sense is that the obesity problem goes far beyond the need to point out and blatantly remind people that they're fat. Like others, I'm really torn on whether or not billboards and ads like this are a good idea.

                         

                        Her 209 lb daughter was 9 years old. 

                         

                         

                        Holy cow. 

                         

                        The other day somebody described my son as being like "a concentration camp victim".

                         

                        After having explained why I might find that description offensive.... I thought about what they said.  I decided that he is not underweight - but that the "name caller" just has a skewed idea of what "normal" is.

                         

                        He is perhaps a little on the light side, but is very healthy.  The fact that you can see somebody's ribs does not make them unhealthy. 

                        stshipley


                          It is worth pointing out that while the media calls them "Georgia" ads . . . implying that the Georgia State Government is behind the ads, the ads are put out by Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. This is one of the most highly regarded Children's Hospitals in the US. It's an organization run by doctors. Thus I believe it is reasonable to assume that the doctors decided that the "shock value" of the ad was good for addressing the issue rather than addressing peoples feelings. YMMV, of course . . . .

                           

                          -STS

                            It is worth pointing out that while the media calls them "Georgia" ads . . . implying that the Georgia State Government is behind the ads, the ads are put out by Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. This is one of the most highly regarded Children's Hospitals in the US. It's an organization run by doctors. Thus I believe it is reasonable to assume that the doctors decided that the "shock value" of the ad was good for addressing the issue rather than addressing peoples feelings. YMMV, of course . . . .

                             

                            -STS

                             

                             

                            Well stated.  Title corrected.  I did know this, but labled it incorrectly.

                            2014 Goals:

                            Not destroy my back while running.

                               Like others, I'm really torn on whether or not billboards and ads like this are a good idea.

                               

                               

                              True, but ignoring the problem isn't helping either.   Like one of my sisters did.

                               

                              One of my sisters had 3 girls, all very active with softball including insane travel softball schedules. I realize softball isn't that much exercise, but it's better than sitting behind the TV or playstation. Still, each one of the girls was over-weight at a young age, and the oldest is grossly over-weight  in her mid  20's. It was to the point where she I thought she might be pregnant again.  Sad really. The other two are right behind -- it's just a matter of time.  I attribute their over-weight problems almost completely to bad eating habits. Way too much fast food, and even when they do eat at home, it's ultra-processed food and very few fresh fruits and vegetables.  When we get together at their house for meals I keep lookign for something other than taco cheese dip or the cheese ball, or the creamy desserts.  

                               

                              Strangely, a different sister of mine had a daughter that got into healthy eating when she started to run in HS.  My family viewed her as a "freak" because she insisted on having fresh fruits and vegetables at meals.   Go figure... 

                                If it's true that billboards and ads are the answer to the problem, it's a sad commentary on what people pay attention to... It is interesting to think that someone would be more responsive to an ad than to their own bodies.