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Georgia’s “Fat” Shaming Billboards are Coming Down

After a lot of criticism and the #Ashamed Twitter chat party to raise awareness of the Georgia ad campaign by Strong 4 Life addressing childhood obesity, the ads are coming down this month. If you haven’t heard about this campaign, it features black and white billboards of overweight elementary-aged children with guilt-inducing text. The billboards are targeted at the parents of the one million obese children throughout the state of Georgia, but the concern is that kids will see these messages and feel an incredible amount of shame, ridicule and guilt about their weight.

The efforts of those protesting these ads have paid off and they will all be removed sometime this month. While the fight against obesity is a very important one, the fight must be against obesity and not obese people. “Obesity prevention campaigns are a good thing, but they need to be done humanely. Partnering with families to help them instead of throwing daggers at them is the most humane way to get this done,” said Leah Segedie, the mom behind BookieBoo and Mamavation who spearheaded a campaign against the billboards.
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Childhood Obesity Will “Kill Us as a Nation” Says Dr. Nancy Synderman [VIDEO]

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.”

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