Matt Lauer walked the Today’s Professionals right in to a heated debate about childhood obesity this morning. A new ad campaign from Georgia is trying to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity in its state, where Lauer cited one million children are overweight or obese.
The three panelists who make up the Today’s Professionals include former advertising star Donny Deutsch, Star Jones who underwent bariatric surgery, and Dr. Nancy Synderman, Chief Medical Editor for NBC News. They are uniquely qualified to have an educated debate on whether or not the controversial ads will influence any sort of change at all, if they are offensive, or hit the nail on the head.
In this clip from Today Show you can see a sample of one of the television commercials currently running in Georgia. In this spot, a young, and overweight, elementary-aged girl looks plainly in to the camera and says “I don’t like going to school because other kids pick on me. It hurts my feelings.”
Deutsch says this is “the worst ad I’ve ever seen.”
Jones, now in a much healthier place after battling her own weight for years, says that a message that encourages young children to do nothing more than “just feel great” isn’t the right message. She shouted “I didn’t feel great!” when she was was overweight, admitting that she lied about her self image. She says when you’re that overweight, “You can’t walk, you can’t breathe, you’re weighing down your limbs.”
Dr. Synderman jumped in announcing that we’re more likely to see a vaccine for cancer sooner than we’ll see a reversal of the obesity epidemic. “This is going to kill us as a nation.”
Have you seen the campaign? What are your thoughts on its effectiveness?