the HAES files: georgia on my mind

by Health At Every Size® Blog

by Deb Lemire, President of the Association for Size Diversity and Health

The Children’s Health Alliance of Atlanta has launched a campaign using short 30 second videos with chubby children talking into the camera sharing their shame and fear of being a fat person. 

Yes Tina, it is hard to be among the one million fat kids in Georgia.  And we agree with Jaden that it’s no fun getting picked on because you’re fat.  But the Strong4Life folks in Georgia decided that instead of building a community that supports healthy behaviors in children of all sizes they have chosen to build a community of stigma. 

Instead of working within their communities to provide access to fresh foods and safe places to play, they choose to encourage a culture of bullying.

Instead of using funds to challenge kids’ imaginations and encourage them to explore and create, they chose to fund fear.

Instead of standing on the side of compassion, they chose to stand on the side of cruelty.

Health comes in all shapes and sizes.  Being physically active and eating nutritious foods will generate health.  Convincing children that they are sick or failures because of their body size will not.

13 Responses to “the HAES files: georgia on my mind”

  1. Well said. Driving to work this morning I heard a report of a health care service company (the host did not give the name) which is rating employees as gold, siver and bronze – you guessed it -based on size. Thin people-of course, gold-saw a 3% increase in their health care premiums. Bronze? 21%. Guess who they are? Why is this legal?

  2. And they just started production on a whole new line of internalized bullies (re: previous HAES post) for a whole new generation. That should keep the diet industry, big pharma, and WLS practices booming for decades to come. Grrr.

  3. Deb, I agree! Although the ads may have been well-intentioned, this is a case where the so-called “cure” for fat kids is worse than the “disease.”

    People, including kids, have always come in all shapes and sizes. To attempt to shame people into losing weight simply doesn’t work, and kids are an especially defenseless segment of the population.

    These ads are discriminatory, pure and simple, and could trigger some kids into full-blown eating disorders and self-esteem issues that will take a lifetime to overcome.

    As a director of the Council on Size & Weight Discrimination (, I must protest these cavalier experiments with the well-being of our children.

  4. I am astonished that Georgia’s citizens haven’t risen up and said, “Stop these ads1” Perhaps it is because they were so experienced in racism that they now feel comfortable with sizism. If I’m insulting the people of Georgia, it’s only because it’s deserved. What is the matter with you people???!!

  5. This post is right on. The Georgia ad does not help at all; it will create more problems.

    Side Note: I am so happy I found this blog. 🙂

  6. Ragen Chastain at Dances With Fat is trying to put up rival billboards; it’s in the planning stages right now. For more info, check out her blog:

    It’s also a really good HAES blog.

  7. I commented on this on my blog a few days ago. The campaign is heartbreaking – they aren’t letting kids be kids. I think the health department should look into boosting self esteem, not destroying it. I can’t imagine that weight is more harmful than depression and lack of a sense of self worth.

  8. The Children’s Health Alliance of Atlanta is claiming that 88% of people surveyed think the ads are just great. Of course, this is public relations from a public relations firm that is asserting thie overwhelming public support.
    Maybe someone should conduct an internet survey and see if the approval rate for these ads is really 88%?


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