New PSA: You should feel very, very badly about your obese child, you know
posted at 10:16 pm on January 4, 2012 by Allahpundit
Via Breitbart TV, the controversy du jour. When I first watched the clip, I thought their strategy was to discourage overeating by simply depressing the viewer until he/she has no appetite left. But no, they’re going for something different. I’m just … not sure what.
Critics say the ads will further ostracize children such as Tina. In posts on the Strong4Life Facebook page, they accuse the campaign of building a “climate of hate.”…
But the disagreements arise when it comes to the central question: Will the ads work? While the harsh approach has proved effective in combating smoking, research has found that making people feel badly about their weight doesn’t work as an agent of change, Davis said.
“I guess it depends on what we want to do with these ads,” she said. “If we want to get attention to say obesity is a problem, maybe they will be effective. In terms of the social stigma about weight — it might actually make people feel worse about that.”
It might be more effective, Davis said, to highlight behaviors that lead to obesity and offer help to those who want to change. “We need to fight obesity,” she said, “not obese people.”
Yeah, not a lot of constructive tips here beyond “your child will be despised if you let them look like this.” The spots are arresting, though, insofar as they’re off the beaten path of reassuring insecure kids that they’re wonderful as is. The spots have to be that way — they’re addressing a health problem, after all — but obesity is one of those conditions in which behavior and identity begin to blur, so the usual “love yourself for who you are” message is implicated. Imagine how different the vibe would be for an ad opposing, say, teen smoking. Exit question: Second look at banning Happy Meals?