Israel: Child obesity campaign denies 'fat-shaming'

  • 9 January 2014
An advertising board shows an obese child with a shrunken face Image copyright Ma'ariv
Image caption "When your child gains weight, his smile becomes smaller,"

A global advertising company that denied its child-obesity campaign promoted "fat-shaming" has caved to public pressure and pulled a series of ads, it appears.

JCDecaux asked members of the public to post humorous images to its Hebrew-language Facebook page, putting the most popular images up on billboards around Israel.

"When your child gains weight, his smile becomes smaller," read one in Tel Aviv - showing an overweight child with enlarged cheeks and a tiny mouth. Another showed a cartoon of three children on a one side of a see-saw but just one on the other, with the headline "one in every four children in Israel is obese".

Critics described the posters as insulting and counter-productive, accusing the company of "fat-shaming" instead of tackling the problem.

JCDecaux said the purpose of the campaign was not to insult obese children, but to raise awareness. "It is important to say that the ads were not created by us, and are open to the public's interpretation," it said.

After an outcry in Israel's media, however, the images have been withdrawn and replaced with the message: "Now the posters are removed - it's in your hands".

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