It's *still* not shaming, to me

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This time, it's the National Eating Disorders Association targeting a campaign against child obesity in Georgia

Back in April, it was the website Sociological Images, attacking the same campaign for the same reason, that it shames children. This morning's press release leads off...

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is calling on Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) to dismantle an alarming, anti-obesity ad campaign that targets and shames children. The campaign, “Stop Sugarcoating,” aims to increase parental awareness of childhood obesity and improve children’s health in the state with the second highest rate of childhood obesity in the nation. However, the ad campaign is most successful at shaming youth who are overweight and reinforcing societal prejudice against children who do not have an “ideal” body type.

Here's what I wrote back in April, so I'm not going to go into all of it again today. But my summary reaction remains, "huh?" Calling attention to child obesity is a good thing, and I don't see these kids, or those they represent, as being shamed. 

And: IMO, parental disregard — or, to be nice, insufficient parental respect/concern/understanding  — for a real, potentially lifelong health-degrading condition is the primary reason it has gotten so out of hand.

We can acknowledge how hard it is to provide mostly home-cooked meals created from whole foods, and I'll give you all the other caveats you want. But do they stand up to the potentially lifelong ill-health effects of what results?

If the parents of a third of America's children were exposing them to benzene, or using asbestos in their pillows, or doing other things that threatened their long-term health — and their reason was that it was hard not to, most people would not stand for that.

But when parents stock their houses with junk food, when they feed their kids fast food, when they order for their kids off "kids' menus" that feature chicken fingers and fries, when they don't insist on — and are unwilling to fund — healthy foods' being served in school cafeteries — they (we!) are culpable in what results.

You wanna argue with that?


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