August 13, 2012

Watch 3-year-old Lukas grazing snacks all day: A confronting Dutch childhood obesity awareness campaign

'Also happy with this environment?' is the question posed by the Dutch Nutrition Center in their new campaign. The video of this campaign is definitely worth watching.

Many children have poor eating habits which may lead to overweight and obesity. Children are constantly bombarded with unhealthy, high-caloric snacks and meals. As a result, children nowadays live in a so-called 'toxic food environment', a term invented by obesity researcher Kelly Brownell. 

Successful obesity awareness campaigns require careful consideration of the target group and a key relevant message. On the one hand, they need to make parents aware of the seriousness of the problem. On the other hand, they need to provide useful information and not stigmatize or shame overweight children. This is not simple, as shown by a failed and controversial US childhood obesity campaign.

I particularly like the final scene of the video in which Lukas refuses the healthy meal cooked by his parents. It is a very familiar scene for many parents, including myself. Have a look yourself!

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