Childhood obesity is becoming a major issue nationwide, but some parents are outraged over a new ad campaign in schools aimed at overweight children and want the signs taken down.
It was an impromptu visit to the cafeteria at her child's school that got Cynthia Rayborn fired up. Rayborn didn't like what was hanging on the walls in plain view of young children.
"The top of the sign says "overweight", and the first statement on the sign says "don't feel good about yourself", said Rayborn. After snapping cell phone pictures, she flooded the district with calls of her displeasure for the posters.
"To put "don't feel good about yourself", that's not acceptable," she added. While she commends the district for tackling the topic, she says there is a better way to educate.
Physician Tracey Petrides says the sign simply explains the consequences of being overweight --low self esteem and depression. "Its not about making a child feel bad, its not about making a parent feel bad, we have a health risk," Dr. Petrides explained. "What are we going to do to make that risk go away?"
Petrides says doctors have danced around the issue for far too long, and its time to discuss the issue. She says in her practice, she's seen more young children developing diseases previously seen only in adults. Now she's committed to helping the school gauge health factors and risks.
"In some of our classes, 40 percent of our classes had children that were overweight or obese," she said.
The poster is part of an initiative to educate children on the obesity epidemic.
"There was never any intent to single out any child or be offensive in any way, our goal is really education," added the school system's administrator, Katherine Nelson.