A new campaign aimed at raising awareness toward childhood obesity is creating a backlash in Georgia.
"Chubby kids may not outlive their parents" touts one billboard accompanied by a picture of Tamika who was diagnosed with Type II diabetes.
Another billboard features a picture of Carlos and says "He has his father's eyes, his laugh and maybe even his diabetes". A video testimonial with Carlos ends with the words "Being fat takes the fun out of being a kid."
The awareness effort definitely has people talking...but according to critics, may actually do more harm than good.
The billboard and internet awareness initiative was launched by the Georgia Children's Health Alliance. The billboards are currently up in Macon and Columbus, Georgia and the accompanying website continues the theme showing pictures of obese children and videos explaining their situations.
Too drastic, some say. The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance told Georgia station WXIA that the campaign stigmatizes overweight children and have called for the billboards to come down.
"They're doing more harm than good," says Peggy Howell, the group's spokeswoman. "They are making children think that there is something wrong with them. That they're doing something wrong."
The group responsible for putting up the billboards says that the campaign serves its intended purpose. "Nobody's really paying attention to [child obesity]," Ron Frieson, who is in charge of the campaign told WXIA. "So we felt as though it would take some drastic measures."
Do you think the billboards go too far? What is more un-healthy...the obesity, or the potential shame inflicted upon the kids on the billboards?