News & Politics

WATCH: Controversial Video Blames Parents for Child Obesity

The Strong4Life advocacy campaign says obesity can be tracked to childhood eating habits.

Photo Credit: "Rewind The Future - Stop the Cycle" Campaign

A controversial public awareness video on childhood obesity is creating shockwaves for its hard-hitting message. The Strong4Life campaign, "Rewind the Future: Stop the Cycle" contends that obesity doesn’t happen overnight, but results from a "lifetime worth of bad habits, bad choices and bad nutrition," dating back to how parents raise and feed children. 

Started by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and posted on YouTube, the clip begins with an image of an obese 32-year-old man lying on an operating table suffering a heart attack, before rewinding through his life to see how he ended up that way. It all began because his tired, overworked mother was fed up and gave him a french fry because, “it’s the only thing that will make him stop.”

Not surprisingly, the campaign has drawn criticism, most notably by those who say the focus of blame should not be on parents, but on large marketing and food corporations. 

This isn’t the first time Strong4Life has delivered aggressive obesity campaigns blaming parents. The organization came under fire in 2012 for depicting obese children in a video where one child asks, "Mom, why am I fat?" Critics argued that the depiction only further stigmatized obesity and made it harder for parents to have the conversation about healthy eating habits with their children.

Still, Strong4Life hopes to ignite societal change and reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity, which currently affects some 12.5 million Americans, at any cost. 

Check out the video:

Jodie Gummow is a senior fellow and staff writer at AlterNet.


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