Shame Energy: Those Awful Anti-Obesity Ads

January… diet time for many of us. A time when we re-evaluate ourselves and try to make different choices in regards to our health.

In the past few years I’ve seen some promising programs come up aimed at tackling childhood obesity.

The best ones (in my opinion) focused on health and inspiring kids to make food choices that felt good, giving them more energy, and drawing the connection between exercise and boosting mood.

Jamie Oliver is a great pioneer in this respect and I feel he is working tirelessly to help kids and educate adults about the solid cause and effect relationship of good food producing stronger bodies, minds, and spirits.

There’s the good example. And now the bad – and it is bad.

I read this article blasting the state of Georgia’s contribution to remedying the issue.

What the…. ?? I could go on for days about how demeaning I feel this ad strategy is, but I’ll hold myself back. A bit.

Shock tactics? For kids? Shaming? For Children??? And that’s all they do. The state spent a whack of money to take fancy dark pictures of glum and pained looking kids with captions like “Fat Kids Become Fat Adults”. Then they spent even more money on top of that to create stark, black and white commercials with the same degrading theme.

20 years ago, I was going through puberty and having my own issues with weight. It was stressful, it was debilitating, it was all I thought about. I did a good job of the shame thing on my own by comparing myself to magazine models, skinny girls at school, and celebrities. Being “helped” by a  shame campaign aimed at my body would have been very unnecessary. I was good at diminishing my self-esteem all by myself.

Did it work? No.

I only found my way out of the body-image, dieting muck and into health after I became inspired and convinced of my strength and positive capabilities.

Inspiration. Empowerment. Strength. Confidence. Positive energy, building and increasing the flow of the energy body, manifests as positive change in the physical body.

You gain this by positive reinforcement.

Shame is nowhere near the neighbourhood of positive reinforcement. Shame carries the negative energy of guilt, blame, sadness, and self-directed anger. It hurts the energy body, crushes the emotions, …can you guess what manifests as a result in the physical body?

Bad enough if this were directed at adults. But children, with their tender insides and formative states?

I am opposed to coddling. I do believe in empowerment – and this ad campaign is so FAR from that.

To those responsible for this: please find your compassion (and common sense) and remove these ads.