Childhood obesity ads may have gone too far, but it's a lesson Latinas need to learn

Has your mother ever called you "gordita" and then urged you to finish the arroz con frijoles on your dinner plate? Mine has.

It was a constant joke in my childhood home that I was overweight and yet always had to finish my supper. Some say that it's this kind of "clear your plate" mentality, coupled with a less active lifestyle and larger portions, that has led to the childhood obesity epidemic that First Lady Michelle Obama is currently fighting against.

As the rate of overweight children sores, one children's hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, has started an ad campaign that some are calling much too harsh.


With ads like "chubby kids may not outlive their parents" and "it's hard to be a little girl if you're not", Children's Healthcare of Atlanta is calling it the "tough love".

So is the campaign being harsh and perpetuating fat discrimination or are the critics just too afraid to let their children's feelings be hurt?

Almost 73% of Latina women are overweight, compared to only 61.6% of Non-Hispanic Whites while Hispanic Americas were 1.2 times more likely to be obese than Non-Hispanic Whites. And children? The ratio jumps to 1.4 times for boys and 1.8 times for girls, according to the Office of Minority Health.

It has to stop somewhere, doesn't it?

Maybe the hospital in Georgia is being too harsh but perhaps that's what they need to do to finally make some parents listen. With the FDA approving new graphic cigarette warning labels in order to encourage people to quit smoking, this may be the same step in the fight against childhood obesity.

As I learned to put down my fork and made myself go from an overweight child to a fit adult, I remember the teasing that I endured as a kid because I had a few extra pounds. Maybe if my mom had seen these posters, she wouldn't have urged me so much to finish my dinner every night and instead pushed me out the door to play sports.

Are these Georgia hospital ads going too far or is it the right step in the fight against childhood obesity?

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Topics: diseases  health care  latino health  overweight  weight loss  womens health