Strong4Life has some critics complaining about its recent string of public service announcements addressing the obesity problem in Georgia. The announcements are part of a $50 million campaign to prevent obesity in a state where nearly one million children are obese and 75% of parents of overweight children don’t recognize obesity as a problem. Georgia trails Mississippi as one of the most obese states in the nation.
In an effort to prevent further digression, Strong4Life has incorporated several announcements that are meant to raise awareness about obesity and its effects. Many alerts feature overweight children who discuss their experiences with obesity from a negative perspective. The kids talk about the teasing that they must endure at school and various diseases that they are exposed to because of weight gain. The segment usually ends with a powerful slogan like “being fat takes the fun out of being a kid,” or “some diseases aren’t just for adults anymore.”
While Strong4Life defends its announcements by saying “Ignoring this problem is what got us here. It’s time to wake up,” many professionals criticize the ads because they do not offer a solution to the problem. As Karen Hilyard of the University of Georgia states, “We know from communication research that when we highlight a health risk but fail to provide actionable steps people can take to prevent it, the response is often either denial or some other dysfunctional behavior.”
Check out a PSA and tell us what you think!