Should You Tell Your Kid That They’re Fat?

There is a new campaign in Georgia called Strong4Life. The campaign is using stark videos and in your face tactics to get the attention of Georgia’s parents on the obesity epidemic facing the children of their state. The site is full of statistics that would make any parent worry about the health of their children.

From their FAQ:

  • Nearly one million kids in Georgia are overweight or obese
  • 75% of parents in Georgia who have overweight or obese children  do not recognize the problem
  • Georgia’s obesity costs are estimated to be 2.4 billion per year due to the rise in this epidemic

The videos are striking and quite direct.

The arguments against these ads are that they shame kids. Do they need the ads to tell them, when often times they are teased and picked on in school? If a kid, through some miracle, was unaware of societies general perception of the obese, would telling them miraculously solve all of the problems that caused them to be overweight to begin with?


Instead of spending money pointing out that there is a problem, which is clear to anyone with two eyes and some sense, the money would be better spent fixing the issues surrounding it. Spending money teaching parents to cook healthy, fresh foods. Subsidizing fresh foods to make them more affordable. Education about what healthy eating is. The great part of the fact that this issue is impacting children, is that they are captive audience in school for ten months out of the year. This is the best opportunity to encourage movement with recess and sports programs and to teach children how to make healthy choices when it comes to food.

Do you think this ad program is helpful or hurtful?

6 thoughts on “Should You Tell Your Kid That They’re Fat?

  1. Heres my take: I dont think its ever ok to call a child fat or to point out any of their “flaws”. I do think it is ok to encourage behaviour that helps to fix those flaws – like healthy eating to help lose weight.

    I think parents do tend to think that their children are healthier than they are. Or that they are more active than they are. Honestly, I think its sickening. Parents need to wake up to reality and quit blaming the problem on everybody else like school system and cost of eating “healthy foods”.

  2. Oh main its a toughie. I kind of agree in not pointing out flaws but than again I also think we have to let them know somethings arent good for us. I think I am with you, spend money on fixing the problem instead of pointing it out.
    Courtney recently posted..Green Smoothie PancakesMy Profile

  3. What I find disturbing is how few parents actually SEE their child’s obesity! How is it NOT obvious. Now I’m the first to admit that helping a child lose weight is difficult. I have an overweight child, and I thought it’d be as simple as removing all junk from the house (although we never had that much) and ensuring they rarely eat junk (which we didn’t anyway). It’s hard because he’s a teen and he feeds himself a lot of the time, and while I’ve removed white bread etc. from the house, he’ll just fill himself up with sourdough rye!

    It’s a harder issue than actually telling parents they need to cook healthy food. My kids all have lunches brought from home, and I cook healthy meals at least 6 nights out of every 7. Still, I have one overweight child (two who are well within the healthy weight range). Some people really do seem much more highly predisposed to obesity than others, as I have seen (in other family members on both sides of the family) and for this reason I feel one has to be very, very careful about fat shaming.

    • Parents not seeing the obesity is one aim of the campaign. Although, I do not think there is any need to shame. I do think that schools have a great opportunity to intervene when they see a child’s health suffering.

      Genetics are part of the problem, some people have an easier time gaining weight than others.
      Dina recently posted..Half Marathon Training Week Seven And EightMy Profile

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