Activists for the Overweight Stand Up to Obesity Campaign in Georgia


An obesity campaign started by a hospital in Georgia called Strong4Life and featuring giant billboards with pictures of unsmiling overweight people has been deemed too harsh by several groups of activists, reported the BBC.

The first group, led by Ragen Chastain, who runs the blog Dances With Fat, launched a countercampaign, which will eventually include billboards and bus-stop signs with pictures of happy-looking people and positive slogans. The project is called Support All Kids Billboard, and it raised $12,000 on its first day of collection toward a goal of $20,000.
Marilyn Wann, another activist, designed a template so that people could make their own version of the Strong4Life ads, and now there’s a Tumblr page dedicated to the project called I Stand Against Weight Bullying.

The BBC reported that Shannon Russell, a blogger at Fierce, Freethinking Fatties, collected letters of support against the Strong4Life billboards from public officials and sent them to the National Institute of Health. He received a letter in return from Alan Guttmacher, the director of the Institute of Child Health and Human Development, who wrote that the Strong4Life campaign “carries a great risk of increasing stigma” for overweight children.

According to the BBC, some of the Strong4Life billboards have already been taken down.