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Amid 'war on obesity,' skeptics warn of stigma

May 1, 2011 10:09:00 AM - thestate.com
The images are striking: Overweight boys and girls staring somberly from billboards and online videos, real-life embodiments of the blunt messages alongside.

"Chubby kids may not outlive their parents," for example. Or: "Big bones didn't make me this way. Big meals did."

The ads - part of a new "Stop Child Obesity" campaign in Georgia - won some enthusiastic praise for their attention-grabbing tactics. But they also have outraged parents, activists and academics who feel the result is more stigma for an already beleaguered and bullied group of children.

"Billboards depicting fat kids are extraordinarily harmful to the very kids they are supposedly trying to help," said the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, which called for the billboards' removal.

The Georgia Children's Health Alliance, which created the ads, said they were necessary to jar parents of obese kids out of a state of denial that their children had a problem.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)