Squeezing in a morning run, a healthy breakfast, and a warm shower while getting to my 8:30 am class on time is defiantly a balancing act even for me as a self proclaimed "morning person" (especially on Mondays). The class I'm always running out the door to get to on time is called Issues and Problems in Dietetics and every Monday we discuss a nutrition related article found in the news. So far I've been skimming titles and have been pretty bored with the article I've been printing out at the last minute. BUT this morning's article struct a nerve....
This morning I decided to print out an article about the recent childhood obesity PSA campaign going on in Georgia.
See for yourself...
People make positive changes in their lives when they feel empowered, strong, capable and motivated. You need to love yourself to want to take care of yourself. Where is the love in any of these ads? In my opinion they emanate depression, anger, shame, sadness, and blame. Worst of all it directs and evokes these emotions in children. I understand they aim to spark the attention of adults but it is at the expense of the child's emotions and wellbeing.
Studying nutrition, I strongly believe childhood obesity is a huge issue that needs to be addressed but these adds are avenues for eating disorders, depression, and self hatred...who would risk that on any child? Most children are not emotionally equipped to deal with the harm these messages can cause nor should they have to. Many factors play a role in our body size many of which are out a child's control.
Please Georgia try and understand that the majority of parents want to do what's best for their children. Further, education, empowerment, and guidance will foster positive change while shame, frustration and blame may do more harm than good. It is not the physical properties of children or anybody for that matter we should be focused on but the habits. There is no education in these images they just leave the audience with negative emotions and no tools for change. Please take these adds down and hug your children and tell them how wonderful they are. Then educate them on how they can take care of themselves because when we love ourselves we are more likely to take care of ourselves.