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Published October 21, 2012, 11:32 PM

Hot Topic: Some say anti-obesity advertisements shaming rather than helping (with video)

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota released ads last month urging parents to encourage good eating habits in their kids. How they went about the ads, however, has some calling the move an act of shaming rather than educating.

By: Forum staff reports, INFORUM

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota released ads last month urging parents to encourage good eating habits in their kids.

How they went about the ads, however, has some calling the move an act of shaming rather than educating.

One of the BCBS TV commercials shows an overweight little girl shopping with her overweight mother and copying her every move, including loading up on junk food.

Dr. Marc Manley, vice president and chief prevention officer for BCBS, told The Atlantic this month that these are the kinds of images Minnesotans need right now.

Other get-fit campaigns, such as last year’s BCBS of Minnesota’s “Do Groove” and First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” program, focus on activity rather than eating habits.

“To be honest, we’ve spent a lot of years promoting physical activity … but at the same time we’re realizing that this problem of obesity is a really serious problem,” Manley told The Atlantic in response to why BCBS launched its latest ads.

But others are asking whether the campaign will be effective.

A Yale study has shown that highlighting parents’ role in teaching unhealthy eating habits proved off-putting to audiences.


Tune in every Monday to watch the latest episode of “What SheSays” when we’ll ask women in our community about hot topics. Are you interested in joining our panel? Email SheSays editor Heidi Shaffer at hshaffer@forumcom.com.

Source: The Atlantic

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