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Are These 'Stop Childhood Obesity' Ads Exploitative?

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"Stop Childhood Obesity" is an ad campaign aimed at children in Georgia, which has the 2nd-highest rate of childhood obesity in the US. The group has launched a series of black and white billboards and YouTube videos featuring overweight children revealing their feelings on health, food and bullying.

The videos are poignant, heartbreaking and raw, but do they go too far?

Some viewers have expressed concern, reports WRBL in Columbus, Georgia, "over the self-esteem of children involved in the ads and those children looking at the ads. The kids selected for the ad campaign have real stories; however, they are paid actors."

Childhood obesity has increased over 300% in the last 30 years, says StopChildhoodObesity.com.

Momlogic wants to know: Do these videos go too far?


next: Where's the Best Place to Be a Mom? Study Says...
17 comments so far | Post a comment now
Charlotte May 3, 2011, 11:35 AM

I wouldn’t really call those commercials “raw”. The first two are just kids saying that they don’t like getting picked on, and the last one lets people know about one kids eating habits. It is important that people are constantly aware of the side-effects of over eating, because we do it without even thinking about it. The commercials are short and to the point, and I’m sure it helps other kids, who see these commercials, know that their are other kids like them and that they don’t have to feel so alone.

Jamie B May 3, 2011, 8:29 PM

I feel uncomfortable with them, but I don’t know if they are exploitative.

AjVa May 4, 2011, 4:12 AM

I cannot believe that the host actually stated that these kids are getting paid to stay fat. If you would imagine the situations that these children go through because of their weight, I do not believe there is enough money to cover the emotional damages these kids face. Kids can be mean, and it’s sad that these kids who’s parents let them get this way, not including the ones that have a medical condition that causes weight gain, have to pay the price for something that they may have been completely helpless. You cannot judge any one group of people based upon your own crude ideals of how they may have become this way.

Pam May 4, 2011, 7:41 AM

I think these ads are the wake up call we all need. Just look around and there are overweight kids everywhere. It seems to be the new normal and people don’t recognize or stop to consider that there are consequences. This is a serious issue and it’s time people pay attention to it.

Angela May 4, 2011, 12:42 PM

So should we encourage overweight children not to speak out about their experiences? To me it’s only exploitive if the kids were unwilling participants.

Sara May 4, 2011, 1:39 PM

They’re not being paid to stay fat- they’re being paid to talk about their experiences. Very brave!

Sara May 4, 2011, 1:40 PM

They are not being paid to stay fat. Just to talk about thier experiences.

Ema May 5, 2011, 7:12 AM

Clearly, those are fat children. They are sharing their experiences - hardly exploitive.

It makes me so soad seeing so very many overweight children. What are their parents thinking? They must see their child is fat!

HeeHee May 5, 2011, 12:55 PM

Look at the little chunkers!

virginiamom May 6, 2011, 7:09 AM

This must be the “SKINNY MOM” website? I’m sure none you went threw a chubby time in your childhood? It’s sad to think that other moms think that this AD is the way to help any child. This AD will only make any chubby child a social target.

Leah May 6, 2011, 8:26 AM

@virginiamom - yes, I’m a thin HEALTHY mom because I work out and eat right and teach my children the same. Those children in the ad aren’t going through “pudgy” stage -they are fat, period. And I went through a fat phase, because my mother did not encourage a healhty diet or exercise.

It is NOT healhty or normal to be overweight!!!

Anonymous May 7, 2011, 11:17 AM

Chubby chunkers :)

dogdoc May 10, 2011, 5:10 AM

Let me just comment from a position of experience and knowledge. Targeting overweight children in ad campaigns will only encourage other kids to see them as separate and a legitimate target for bullying. As an overweight child (from infancy) i came close to suicide many times due to bullying. Then as an adult I decided I could become that accepted model of fitness that is presented as attainable for everyone if you just eat right and exercise. Guess what after 3 years of aerobics spin and walking 2 hours 5 days a week I could outrun outstep and outspin my barbie doll friend but I was still a size 14. People still looked at me and considered me fat. Focus on exercise not how these kids look. We don’t know all the whys of what makes some people bigger til we do i think its better not to isolate any group of kids

lisa May 10, 2011, 10:42 AM

HELLLLLLOOOOOO?????? u people have no right of opinions, because obviously ur not a qualified with credentials of a Medical degree of dealng with obesity in humans….i recently found out that some of the children can become overwt/obese after having a tonsilectomy!! look it up u skinny have nothing else to do but exercise and money bag woman!!…i was a bean poll til i reached 8th grade and i didn’t chg what i ate..was still picky…i was a size 10 in jr high and when i reached high school i lost down to a size 5 cuz i was staying busy with friends and had a car to keep my busy …keep my mind off food and ate very little…then got preg 2x’s they are almost a yr apart…i couldn’t lose the wt…reached size 20 then got on adipex in order to control my appitite and i walked most evenings with friends about 45 min a nite…i lost 65lbs in 5 mos….i have 3 children…2 oldest got a lil baby fat in jr high and lost it in high school…my lil one came 18yrs since my last…she was tiny til end of 1st grade…now she’s 9 wearing girls size 14-16 or sometimes plus for shorts and skirts…because she has a big hiney!!…not her fault she gained…im diabetic and became one at late age of 35, in spring of 2000…sept 2000 i became preg…so she could be pudgy from having a gene for diabetes..it’s in the stomach area shaped for a diabetic…the school children called her ms piggy when she first started gaining…now another name, tootsie roll!!…she ignores them…her dad’s side of family are big boned and large hips, butt, and legs…he doesn’t have that, but our daughter does…they are tall and she’s only gonna be 5’3”..ONE OF THE PROBS OF OBESITY I BELIEVE TO BE TRUE IS SCHOOL FOOD!!! HAVE U SEEN THEIR MENUS??? UNHEALTHY!!! THY SERVE PIZZA FOR BKFAST HERE…MOST THE TIME MY CHILD OR MOST CHILDREN WILL NOT EAT THEIR FOOD AT SCHOOL..CUZ THEY SAY ITS NASTY!!! COME HOME AND PIG OUT CUZ THEY R SO HUNGRY FROM NOT EATING ALL DAY!!!..I DON’T LET HER PIG OUT ON JUNK..IF I’M NOT HER AND HER DAD IS, HE GIVES IN TO HER!!…PLEASE HELP ME!! I THINK PARENTS SHOULD GIVE THE SCHOOL SYSTEM RECEIPES FOR HEALTHY FOOD…THEY CAN MAKE MENUS FROM THAT…CUZ I HAVE SOME VERY HEALTHY SNACK FOOD RECEIPES AND OTHER FOODS!!…U EVER HEAR OF THE SCHOOLS SERVING BAKED, ROASTED, OR BROILED ANYTHING?????? THEY SERVE FRIED, LOTS OF CARBS AND SUGAR, WHICH MAKE U HUNGRY ALLLLL DAY…I KNOW I’M DIABETIC!!! EMPTY WELL!!
PEACE OUT AND PLEASE EXTEND THAT ORG TO MORE THAN ONE STATE…I’M IN MS AND WE KNOW THE SOUTH IS KNOWN FOR GOOD FOOD!! WE EAT DOWN HERE!!! AND HAVE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL LADY LIKE WOMEN THAN ANYWHERE IN THE STATES…THUMBS UP FOR THE SOUTH!!…I THINK I’D EVEN TRY AND HELP WITH AN ORG FOR OBESE CHILDREN, BUT I’D ALSO HAVE TO INCLUDE ADULTS..CUZ THERE ARE SUM OUT THERE THAT NEED TO LOSE WT ARE THEY’RE GONNA DIE…like me, diabetic, need to lose 40-50lbs in order to control my diabetes and cholestrol…KEEP UP THE WORK!! THAT AD DOESN’T HURT TO SHOW…PARENTS OF THOSE BULLY KIDS THAT AREN’T TAUGHT THAT WE ARE NOT ALL ALIKE AND GOD CREATED US ALL DIFFERENT!!!…SO YAW PARENTS OF SKINNY KIDS, NEED TO TEACH THEM RESPECT FOR OTHERS IN ALL WAYS…WE ARE UR NEIGHBORS…THERE IS A COMMANDMENT FOR UR NEIGHBOR IN THE BIBLE, FIND IT, CUZ U MAY FIND MORE U NEED TO KNOW!
I’VE SPOKE MY PIECE A LIL LONG!! BUT MAYBE SOME 1 WILL LISTEN AND TAKE ACION WITH SCHOOLS AND HELP DONATE TO THE CAUSE FOR OUR CHILDREN..ALSO, THERE ARE PARENTS OUT THERE LIKE MYSELF THAT CANT AFFORD TO BUY HEALTHY FOODS, I CAN BARELY BUY GROCERIES AT ALL…I HAVE TO STICK WITH WHAT’S CHEAPER!! TRY TO SPREAD 150.00 A MO FOR 3 PEOPLE!!! NOT QAULIFIED FOR GOV ASSIST. FOR FOOD STAMPS CUZ I get 1 DOLLAR TOO MUCH!!! WE NEED HELP WITH FOOD OURSELVES SO MY DAUGHTER AND I CAN EAT HEALTHY, FOOD STAMPS DON’T EVEN APPROVE SOMEONE EVEN IF IT’S A SPECIAL DIET, WHICH I REQUIRE BEING DIABETIC!!!
WELL LOVE AND PEACE OUT THERE!!
PLZZZZZZ!!! UNDERSTAND IT’S NO ONE’S FAULT FOR AN OVER WT CHILD!! but for my child and others prob feel the same for their child/ren.. “WISH I COULD AFFORD EQUIPMENT OR THGS AT HOME OUTSIDE FOR MY CHILD TO GET PLENTY OF EXERCISE!!..BUT SS DISABILITY DOESN’T PAY ENOUGH TO AFFORD SUCH THGS AS SUCH!! I’LL KEEP PRAYING THO!!

lisa May 10, 2011, 11:37 AM

I HAVE ANOTHER COMMENT!!…NOT ONLY GA HAS OVERWT/OBESE CHILDREN AND IT IS GREAT TO ADVERTISE THIS TO HELP THESE KIDS, INCLUDING MY OWN THAT’S NOT OBESE BUT OVERWT..SHE HAD A TONSILECTOMY WHICH RESEARCH FOUND CHILDREN TEND TO GAIN WT AFTER THEY HAVE THEIR TONSILS OUT…MINE DID!!!

THOSE ADS SHOULD INCLUDE ALLLLL THE SOUTH…MS HAS OBESE/OVERWT CHILDREN TOO!!

AGAIN,….MAKING MYSELF CLEAR TO U IGNORANT PEOPLE THAT KNOW NOTHING ABOUT BEING OVERWT NOR OBESE!!! ….IT’S PARENTS OF CHILDREN, THAT ARE BULLYING AND CALLING THESE OVERWT/OBESE CHILDREN NAMES!!!….TEACH UR CHILD RIGHT FROM WRONG..OBVIOUSLY U HAVE TAUGHT UR CHILD THAT SKINNY IS PRETTY AND FAT IS UGLY?? SO THOSE CHILDREN DESERVE TO BE CALLED NAMES???? OR TO BE IGNORED??? ….PARENTS TEACH UR CHILD TO BE KIND AND GIVING…LOVE EACH AND EVERY ONE FOR WHO THEY ARE!!!…FOR THERE ARE THOSE UNDER PRIVILIGED…WHOM SOMEONE NEEDS TO START AN ORG FOR THOSE CHILDREN TO AT LEAST HAVE A CHILDHOOD VACATION EXPERIENCE THAT PARENTS CAN’T AFFORD….OF COURSE I’D BASE IT ON HOW HARD A PARENT TRYS IN MAKING A LIVING AND CHILDREN OF DISABLED PARENTS…GET DONATIONS TO THE CAUSE, TO PUT A SMILE ON A CHILDS FACE AND AN EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME!!…VACATION’S FOR UNDERPRIVLIGED CHILDREN…INCOME BASED ON UNDER POVERTY GRAPH!!…I WISHED I COULD DO IT, BUT I’M DISABLED AND THAT WOULD BE ALOT OF WORK!! SOMEONE OUT THERE THAT KNOWS HOW TO GET AN ORG STARTED LIKE THIS AND RAISE THE MONEY CONTINUOUSLY!!…ALOT OF KIDS THAT’S NEVER BEEN ON A VACATION, CUZ PARENT’S DON’T HAVE THE MONEY!!! THE ECONOMY IS HURTING THE PEOPLE LIVING IN PROVERTY WORSE…GIVE EM A SMILE AND GIVE THE PARENTS A SMILE TOO…CUZ I KNOW THERE ARE PARENTS OUT THERE THAT STAYED DEPRESSED THAT THEY CAN’T AFFORD TO TAKE THEIR CHILD SOMEWHERE THEY CAN BRAG TO THEIR FRIENDS ABOUT…JUST AS THEY HEAR IT FROM OTHER KIDS THAT HAVE PARENTS WHO CAN AFFORD SUCH!!…UNIFORMS IN SCHOOL TO KEEP KIDS WHO CAN AFFORD NAME BRAND CLOTHES SHOES, DON’T MAKE THOSE KIDS WHO CAN’T DRESS THE SAME…BUT IT DOESN’T CHG THEIR MOUTH’S!!!!!….THEY LOOK DOWN ON THOSE WHO AREN’T IN THEIR CLICK OF THE RICH!!..UR ONLY RICH, CUZ GOD ONLY WANTS TO SEE WHAT U DO WITH WHAT HE’S BLESSED U IN GOOD FORTUION..HE SEE’S THE GREEDY AND SELFISH..HE KNOW’S THEY SPEND MONEY ON AN EXPENSIVE 2000.00 PURSE, ETC… WHEN A 35-40 PURSE IS JUST AS GOOD AND THE REST OF THE MONEY GO TO A GOOD CAUSE FOR FAMILIES IN THE U.S.A.!!…they are struggling like crazy and there’s no hope at the end of rainbow…cuz there isn’t a rainbow for these people!!…why not include not just an org for one or two things…but for using it for families in need, no matter what!!….give em a wish/es…MAKE A WISH FOUNDATION IS FOR KIDS ONLY! (WHICH IS WONDERFUL) HOW ABOUT A DIEING ADULT WITH A DISEASE THAT HAS A LIFE SPAN LEFT TO ENJOY SOMETHING THEY NEVER COULD AFFORD…SEE THE 7 WONDERS OF THE WORLD, A CRUISE TO ENJOY WITH THEIR CHILDREN, SEE A SMILE AND A GLOW ON THEIR CHILDREN’S FACE/S WHEN THEY STEP INTO DISNEY WORLD! BEFORE A PERSON DIES…PARENT YOUNG ENOUGH AND HAS A CHILD SMALL ENOUGH!…SPREAD THE WORD!! CUZ I’M ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE! I HAVE A FATTY LIVER CAUSED FROM DIABETES AND HI CHOLESTROL…WHICH WILL TURN TO CANCER!! NOT SURE HOW LONG…WILL HAVE TO HAVE A TRANSPLANT IF ONE IS AVAIL AT THE TIME CANCER IS SHOWN..CUZ IF NOT, IT SPREADS TO KIDNEYS AND SHUT’EM DOWN AND OTHER ORGANS IN THE BODY INCLUDING THE HEART!!! ….DIABETES? I HOPE THEY FIND A CURE, CUZ I DON’T WANNA LEAVE MY MY BABIES ALONE!! I’M ONLY 46 AND I HAVE A SMALL CHILD AT AGE 9…I JUST WANA TAKE HER ANY WHERE SHE WISH FOR THE NEXT YR…I JUST WANA SEE HER HAPPY!! CUZ KIDS AT SCHOOL BRAG ABOUT WHERE THEY GO AND WHAT THEY DO…IT BOTHERS HER WE CAN’T AFFORD TO GO 20MILES DOWN THE RD!!
HELP!!!!!!!!….THERE’S SO MANY CAUSES OUT THERE TO CREATE AN ORG FOR THAT NO ONE EVER THINKS ABOUT!! I CRY EVERY DAY CUZ I JUST WISH I COULD TAKE HER AND MY 2 GRANDDAUGHTERS TO WALT DISNEY WORLD ADN MY OLDEST DAUGHTER ON A CRUISE…CUZ 11 OR MORE YRS AGO SHE WAS A TEENAGER AND I WAS WORKING, MGMENT!! MISS IT…BUT ALLLL SHE WANTED FOR GRADUATION WAS TO GO ON A CRUISE WITH ME, NOT ANYWHERE WITH HER FRIENDS!!! IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME SINCE THAT..I TOLD HER BACK THEN WE GONNA GO ON THAT CRUISE ONE DAY!!…HUG HER AND GIVE HER A KISS…NOW SHE HAS CANCER IN HER LOWER LUMBAR!! 28YRS OLD AND POSSIBLY UTERINE AND BREAST CANCER…
I KNOW THAT DOESN’T PRETAIN TO CHILD OBEISITY…JUST TRYING TO GET A MSG ACROSS TO THOSE WHO JUST CAN’T AGREE WITH PARENTING!…TEACHING THAT EVERYONE IS DIFF! LETS HELP THOSE IN NEED!!…THAT’S WHAT U TEACH UR CHILD!!! EVERY LIL DEED IN HELPING A FAMILY OR CHILD GOES AKNOWLEDGED!!!! DON’T CRITIZIE THOSE WHO ARE DIFF, HELP THEM BECOME WHAT THEY WANT TO BE OR HAVE!!….DON’T BRAG LIKE UR SPOILED RICH CHILD AND URSELF!! HELP OTHERS AND TALK ABOUT HOW OTHER’S NEED HELP!!…SKINNY WOMAN! USE UR MONEY TO HELP THOSE IN NEED, FOR A GOOD CAUSE…STOP BRAGGING ABOUT URSELF, HOW SKINNY U R CUZ U HAVE A BIG BEAUTIFUL PLACE WHERE THERE’S A PARK OR SOMETHING NICE TO ENJOY AND GET OUR TO WALK…DONATE, LISTEN, AND HELP…GET OTHER’S TO HELP…CORRECT UR CHILD OR SOMEONE ELSE’S CHID, TALK TO THEIR PARENT ABOUT BULLYING!! IT’JUST NOT RIGHT!!! BEING BULLYED BY THOSE CHILDREN WHO ARE TAUGHT THEY ARE BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE AND NOT TEACHING THEM THEY ARE EQUAL AS EVERYONE ELSE!! DON’T BULLY OR CALL NAMES OF ANYONE WHO GOD MADE DIFF…GOD DIDN’T BLESS US WITH WEALTH CUZ HE KNOWS WHAT WE’D DO WITH IT!!…I’D HELP EVERY UNDERPRIVILGED FAMILY OUT THERE THAT TRYS TO HELP THEIRSELVES…JOIN IN AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE!! LET THEM ADS SHOW!! IF KIDS PICK ON THEM…THEY SHOULD BE ASHAMED TO BE WHO THEY’VE BECOME FROM WHAT THE ARE TAUGHT BY THEIR PARENTS..THEIR PARENTS FAULT!! ISN’T THAT WHAT SKINNY WOMAN SAID!!!…NOT MY FAULT FOR FOR CHILD OVERWT…IT’S IN HER GENES AND THAT’S SOMETHING VERRRRRY HARD TO FIGHT!!!
WELL GOD BLESS THE ONES WHO ARE SUPPORTIVE AND GIVING FOR A CAUSE GOD GAVE THEM WEALTH TO DO!!!!!!!

LOVE AND PEACE AND GOD BLESS!!
I’LL BE PRAYING THERE WILL BE OTHER ORG’S STARTED FOR THESE THINGS I SPOKE OF!!..I KNOW I DO TALK ALOT AND OPIONATED..BUT IT REALLY UPSETS ME WHEN SOMEONE LOOKS DOWN ON PEOPLE INSTEAD OF MAKING A DIFF IN THEIR LIVES!!!!

WHO’S WITH ME????? AGREE OR DISAGREE???? DID I MAKE A DIFF HERE OF ANYONE’S THKING OR THEIR OPINION????? CHG UR MIND???? IF SO, UR TRULY BEING SPOKE TO BY GOD!! CUZ UR BEGINNING TO UNDERSTAND WHY THESE THINGS NEED TO BE ADVERTISED…HOW ELSE DO U GET THE WORD OUT!???????????????????????????? THEY ADVERTISE SKINNY WOMEN IN SWIMSUITS…HOW U THINK THAT MAKES A GIRL OR WOMAN FEEL??????? LOW SELF ESTEEM DEVELOPED!!!!!!
GET THE PICTURE!! MAKE A DIFF IN PEOPLE’S LIVES IN GIVING TO A CAUSE!!

Tori May 21, 2011, 6:47 PM

That’s way the betsest answer so far!

Dora May 22, 2011, 11:52 AM

That’s way more clever than I was expecting. Thknas!


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