Tuesday, August 12, 2014

About that "Powerful" New Obesity Video Everyone's Sharing

I wasn't going to comment as I didn't want to call attention to it, but having been sent this video over a dozen times now I realize I'd better add my voice.

I'm not a fan.

It's everything that's ugly about society's attitudes towards weight boiled into a 2 minute video treatise on how gluttony and sloth are to blame for obesity....oh, and add in lazy parents.

Presumably the point of the ad is to cause viewers with weight, and parents of kids who may be struggling, to feel sufficient guilt, shame and self-loathing that they finally decide to change their ways.

Well I've got news for the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta folks who produced this ad (and that equally misguided one up above) - if guilt or shame had any lasting impact on weight or behaviour the world would be skinny, as guilt and shame are the two things that the world bends over backwards to ensure that people with weight never run short of.

And yes, parents have a real role to play in all of this, but fear and shame aren't likely to get them there.

As I've said before, childhood obesity is a symptom of a broken environment, kids haven't changed, the world around them has, and part of the world's changes (but by no means always the lion's share) include what are now considered to be normal parental feeding behaviours. Shaming the symptom without tackling the cause is likely only to add to the belief that fat shaming has a role to play in fixing the environment, and yet fat shaming is anything but helpful.