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Cognitive Dissonance —

January 13, 2012

After mentally exhausting myself from writing this monster, I did some cursory research and stumbled across something that blew my fucking mind. I have to share it.

It turns out that Dr. Stephanie Walsh, the Medical Director of Children’s Hospital of Atlanta who we’ve been calling all week, has a profile on Sharecare, a website where people can ask medical questions and get a response from a medical professional.

Dr. Walsh answered a question about how to help an overweight child and she proposed the following answer, completely oblivious to the hypocrisy contained within the red box:

Tell me, Dr. Walsh. You begin by advising that you not “judge your child” or “make jokes about their weight” and that it is important to help that child maintain their self-worth and increase their self-esteem.

Can you help me understand how these billboards achieve any of those goals?

Let Stephanie know what you think:

Stephanie Walsh
Medical Director of CHOA
404 785 6104
This is her admin, Janet, so please be polite.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. vesta44 permalink
    January 13, 2012 2:13 pm

    But Shannon, it’s not the kids they’re trying to hurt, it’s the kids’ parents whose attention they want to grab with those billboards. Don’t you know that kids don’t look out the windows of cars when their parents take them places? Kids are too busy texting on their cell phones to pay any attention to their surroundings, so fat kids aren’t going to see these billboards and neither are their peers (because their peers are definitely texting on their cell phones and won’t see the billboards). And every kid in GA has a cell phone with which to text and can afford it. They won’t see the ads on TV either. After all, the only thing kids use the TV for is to play video games, and they won’t see them on their computers, so how are any kids going to see these ads? Kids are oblivious, didn’t you know that? (/sarcasm)

  2. January 14, 2012 3:23 pm

    One of the best programs to explore (as an introduction to some of the basic concepts of the social determinants of health) appeared on PBS, titled “Unnatural Causes”, and can be viewed (at least in part) online here:

    It made a big impression on me when I was earning my BS in nursing, and it helped me to begin exploding the myths associated with health, health care, and the medicalization of body size. There are various professional journals, also, that address the politics of health, hidden health rationing, class/power/health inequalities, and other adventures in medical sociology. Happy reading! And power to the people. 🙂

    • January 14, 2012 4:46 pm

      Excellent! I will check that out. That reminds me of this great National Geographic on Netflix called Stress: Portrait of a Killer. It really, really, really, really, really, really, really makes me want to read everything on the Whitehall Study. Stress is a HUGE contributor to metabolic disorders, and people just twiddle their thumbs if you suggest that some of that obesity money could be spent on figuring out how much chronic stress is contributing. Which raises the question of whether stigmatizing fat children *COUGH*Scarred4Life*COUGH* is good for the health of the group being stigmatized, which is well-studied in African American communities and has a definite negative impact on their health.


      And there’s all of these widely accepted truths in the scientific community that go completely ignored because “calories in, calories out” is enough.

      People suck.


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