(PRWEB) January 27, 2012
The "Stop Sugarcoating it Georgia" childhood obesity ad campaign and New York City's graphic anti-obesity ad campaign have both stirred up a lot of controversy. Do billboards featuring overweight children saying things like "It's hard to be a little girl. If you're not" or heavy adults missing limbs or huffing up stairs do more damage than good? Are they a helpful "wake up call" or just another way to heap shame and stigma on the overweight?
Linda Frankenbach, founder and CEO of fitsmi.com, a web community for teen girls struggling with their weight and fitsmiForMoms.com, a separate, companion site for parents, speaks out in support of the ad campaigns, “At fitmsi.com and fitsmiForMoms.com, we try to empower teen girls struggling with their weight to take control of their own health and we try to help parents help kids reach their goals. It takes the interest and effort of a child’s entire community to help kids get and stay on track through adulthood.”
“If we don't start sending direct messages to adults about the severe health risks caused by obesity, then we are risking entire families. Ads like "Stop Sugarcoating it Georgia," which are really aimed at parents more than kids, as well as New York City's subway billboards targeting adults (many of whom are parents) are an important step in the complicated issue of childhood/adolescent and adult obesity because the first step is to get people's attention.”
”But after the initial shock that the campaign elicits, it’s essential to offer effective tools and support for families to begin the process of healthy living. At fitsmi.com and fitsmiForMoms.com we learned early in our research with overweight teens and their moms that they need a realistic plan that gives them clear directives about food and exercise and also helps them feel better about themselves. And they need support from parents, peers, peer mentors or professionals to cheer them on and keep them on track.”
fitsmi.com is a web community where teen girls struggling with their weight (ages13-18) can go to feel good about themselves, get reliable information, laugh, build friendships, find support, set goals and stay on track by using fitsmi.com’s Change Machine. fitsmi’s Change Machine was designed to help girls create personal daily attainable goals that help create positive healthy and sustainable change, as well as to be a social network where girls can support each other.
fitsmiForMoms.com, a web community for parents of overweight children, is a separate companion site to fitsmi.com.