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Call to Action —

January 16, 2012

Last week, we spent a significant portion of time flooding Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta with phone calls, emails, tweets and Facebook posts attempting to shame them into submission.

The result? CHOA is digging in its heels with CHOA’s Chairman of the Board, Doug Hertz, writing a defiant Op-Ed in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Friday (information on how to write a reply with a letter to the editor here).

This week, we stop attempting to shame the shameless. Instead, we are asking everyone who is outraged that these billboards continue to shame fat children to join us in requesting that professional organizations issue statements condemning Strong4Life’s ad campaign.We’ve already had some success with the following organizations and celebrities issuing statements condemning Strong4Life:

We intend to make that list grow.

But we need your help. We need you to write a letter expressing your disapproval of Strong4Life’s advertising campaign, then send it to some, or all, of the following organizations that have a vested interest in the conclusion of “Phase 1” of this disgusting campaign.

If you’d like to save time, make your comments and request general so that you can cut and paste to multiple organizations, or personalize your message depending upon the recipient.

Many thanks to Duckie Graham, who contributed the majority of this information,  and Pattie Thomas for her suggestion of the ASA. If you have suggestions for other organizations or celebrities, please add them in the comments below.

Also, if you’re interested in catching up, here are the posts we have written so far on the subject:

Professional Organizations

First and foremost, we are trying to land two big fish: Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin and First Lady Michelle Obama. Please send an email to her Communications Officer, Mary Beth Bigley, requesting that the Surgeon General speak out.

Mary Beth Bigley

Please send a message to First Lady Michelle Obama on Twitter

The following are in order of relevance:

Georgia Composite Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage and Family Therapists
This one is slightly tricky in that no email exists. You have to fill in an email form by visiting this page and clicking the link circled in red.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Patricia M. Babjak

Eating Disorders Information Network in Georgia
Lisbeth Rhine
Executive Director

National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Dr. Francis Collins

National Institute of Mental Health
Dr. Thomas Insel

National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities
Dr. John Ruffin

Pan American Health Organization (the American subsidiary of the World Health Organization)
Dr. Mirta Roses Periago

American Sociological Association
Professor Eric Wright
President and Medical Sociology Chair

Professor Paul Amato
Sociology of Family Chair

American Psychological Association
Professor Suzanne Bennett Johnson

Public Interest Directorate of the APA

American Art Therapy Association
Public Policy/Advocacy

American Association of Suicidology
Dr. Alan Berman

NOW Young Feminist Task Force

NAACP Contact Form

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
US Secretary of Health and Human Services is Kathleen Sebelius

Eating Disorders Coalition
Dr. Lisa Lilenfeld

FEAST (Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders)
Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh
Executive Director

International Association for Eating Disorders Professionals (IAEDP)
Bonnie Harken.
Managing Director

National Association for Males with Eating Disorders (NAMED)
Christopher Clark
Founder/Executive Director

KidsTerrain, Inc.
Maggie Moran

Rena Hannaford

NEW 1/20

Board Members Georgia Nurses Association
Deborah Hackman
Chief Executive Officer


The following are the Twitter accounts for celebrities who I believe would be interested in supporting us. If you have a Twitter account, please help us get them involved:

Can you think of more celebrities whose attention we should get? Please add their Twitter account into the comments section and we will add them.

I will update this list constantly, and keep it stuck to the top of the page. This will be our Action Page until the Strong4Life ads end.

*Alton Brown’s support comes with the caveat that he wants to, instead, shame fat adults and the parents of fat kids. While I disagree with that stance, largely because of the reasons cited in today’s post on the social determinants of health, I am also willing to set aside these kinds of differences to achieve our primary goal of ending the Strong4Life ad campaign directed at children.

58 Comments leave one →
  1. Duckie Graham permalink
    January 16, 2012 1:37 pm

    contact the anonymous board at Eating Disorders Anonymous:

  2. Duckie Graham permalink
    January 16, 2012 1:40 pm

    I’m not sure how we feel about Queen Latifah…she seems to change her stance on things depending on which side of the bed she wakes up on…but when she does speak out, people pay attention.

  3. January 16, 2012 1:40 pm

    Hi Dirk,
    Welcome to Fierce Fatties. I should go ahead and acquaint you with our Asshole Policy, which states that anyone who is flagged by five separate people as an asshole has their comments deleted. If you post another comment and it gets flagged, that one will be deleted too. The third time, you earn yourself a perma-ban.

    Congratulations, I dub thee an asshole.

    You want to discuss issues of health and obesity, be my guest. We’ve been doing this for two years now, answering ignorant assholes like you with actual facts and data and research, and some mouth-breathing knuckle-dragger whose moral outrage takes the form of personal attacks can be just as easily refuted.

    Instead of making childish assumptions, why don’t you, I don’t know, read a bit more of this blog before you decide to share your monosyllabic opinion.



  4. Duckie Graham permalink
    January 16, 2012 2:22 pm

    How about Beth Ditto?

    • January 16, 2012 2:28 pm

      I’m friends with her on Facebook and sent something a while back. She’s not on Twitter though. I’ll try contacting her again, but I’m afraid I might piss her off.


  5. Duckie Graham permalink
    January 16, 2012 2:24 pm

    and definitely Gabourey Sidibe!

    • January 16, 2012 2:29 pm

      I can’t find a verified account of her on Twitter. Same goes for Adele.


  6. January 16, 2012 2:46 pm

    I really think that Shannon said it all, but I also dub thee asshole. Glad to be able to help the cause.

  7. Jody Kay permalink
    January 16, 2012 2:48 pm

    Rosie O’Donnell @Rosie on Twitter

  8. Duckie Graham permalink
    January 16, 2012 2:53 pm

    email the Eating Disorders Coalition at – President is Lisa Lilenfeld, Ph.D

  9. January 16, 2012 3:00 pm

    Margaret Cho? She recently dealt with some negative comments about her body on her blog and is definitely against bullying and body shaming.!/margaretcho

    I’ve sent her a few tweets myself, but she hasn’t noticed me yet.

  10. Duckie Graham permalink
    January 16, 2012 3:02 pm

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
    200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
    Washington, D.C. 20201
    Toll Free: 1-877-696-6775

    US Secretary of Health and Human Services is Kathleen Sebelius

    • Duckie Graham permalink
      January 17, 2012 4:14 am

      I got a canned response “thank you for writing” kind of thing from Secretary Sebelius…hoping for a better response during business hours.

  11. Duckie Graham permalink
    January 16, 2012 3:11 pm

    email the International Association for Eating Disorders Professionals (IAEDP) at – Managing Director is Bonnie Harken.

  12. Duckie Graham permalink
    January 16, 2012 3:19 pm

    email FEAST (Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders) – Executive Director Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh at

    • Duckie Graham permalink
      January 21, 2012 3:14 pm

      Got a great response from F.E.A.S.T:

      “Ms. Graham,

      I could not be more supportive of this! I signed the BEDA petition early on and have campaigned on my blog and Facebook and elsewhere to get people to join us – the Strong4Life campaign is reprehensible and infuriating – and ignorant!

      Laura Collins
      Executive Director
      (Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders)

  13. Dirk permalink
    January 16, 2012 3:36 pm

    yup, that will sort out all your problems, very mature

    • January 16, 2012 3:50 pm

      You’re not going to find any sympathy with the maturity card when you’re the one flinging your bigoted shit around. You want to question our beliefs, be my fucking guest, but don’t be an asshole about it or you’ll get your second asshole tag. It’s as simple as that.

      We welcome dissent, not assholes.


  14. January 16, 2012 5:58 pm

    this is beyond awful as a fat woman who was a fat kid if I had seen these advertisments. I had BED at the age of 11 as the result of systematic bullying by pears and the the abuse of a teacher if ad’s like these had been around well I threatened suicide these may have pushed me over the edge. UUnfortunatly as I am not US based I doubt they will take much notice of me and the petition BEDA have put online does have all US bullet points. keep fighting people and us fatties here in the uk support you all the way

  15. January 16, 2012 6:29 pm

    If you’re looking for other sizable celebrities, How about “Mike & Molly” stars Billy Gardell and Melissa McCarthy? I realize the show varies between “cool, I never thought I’d see people who look like me with their arms around each other!” and “Oh, jeez, another fat slur, really?” but there is a certain threshold of dignity there.

  16. Duckie Graham permalink
    January 16, 2012 7:20 pm

    FierceFat AndFashionable suggested plus sized models, Tess Munster and Velvet D’Amour.

  17. Duckie Graham permalink
    January 17, 2012 1:16 pm

    Got a response from NICHD. I’m not sure how or if to respond to this. Should I just say thanks for considering, or what? any ideas from the peanut gallery?:

    “Dear Ms. Graham—

    Thank you for your message to Alan E. Guttmacher, M.D., Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) about the Strong4Life campaign. Your message was forwarded to the NICHD Public Information and Communications Branch for a response.

    The NICHD is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The Institute has primary responsibility for supporting and conducting basic, clinical, and translational research in the biomedical, behavioral, and social sciences relating to maternal and child health, medical rehabilitation, and reproductive sciences.

    As a federal agency, the NICHD and its employees are prohibited from endorsing or condemning a specific private health care provider or person, organization or facility, or campaign or product.

    In addition, although the NICHD supports and conducts research on child health, including obesity, the Institute is not a regulatory agency. It has no authority to issue a practice guideline or recommendation on any topic.

    You correctly note that the U.S. Surgeon General’s Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation supports overall health beyond a specific body size. Similarly, the Let’s Move initiative, supported by First Lady Michelle Obama, espouses practical steps to raising a “healthier generation of kids” regardless of body size or type. The trans-NIH WE CAN!® (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity and Nutrition) program also focuses on health rather than body size or type. These and other initiatives encourage communities to take action to promote healthy lifestyles; perhaps you could work with these initiatives to counter the Strong4Life messages in your area.

    I regret that I can’t be of more help, but hope this information is useful. Should you need further assistance, you can call the NICHD Information Resource Center at 1-800-370-2943. I wish you luck in your efforts.


    Christina Stile, ELS

    Public Information and Communications Branch


  18. Duckie Graham permalink
    January 17, 2012 1:18 pm

    Also got a reply from NIMH. Again, not sure how to respond.:

    “Dr. Insel has asked me to thank you for your e-mail and to respond directly to you. As you may already know, NIMH is an agency of the Federal Government whose mission is to conduct and support medical research to improve people’s mental health. As such, it does not have any authority in areas outside its mandated mission.

    We appreciate you sharing your concerns with us. I am sorry we could not be of more assistance.

    Linda Hoffman, NIMH Executive Secretariat”

  19. Duckie Graham permalink
    January 17, 2012 1:23 pm

    I also got an email back from Eric Wright at…turns out he’s not the president of the ASA – that’s a different Eric Wright….Eric O. Wright. I could not find an accurate email for him.

  20. Duckie Graham permalink
    January 17, 2012 1:58 pm

    “KidsTerrain, Inc. focuses on identifying and managing the life challenges affecting parents, teachers, employees and employers in relation to children and families.”

    Maggie Moran, President

    Rena Hannaford, CEO

  21. Duckie Graham permalink
    January 17, 2012 2:20 pm

    “Maudsley Parents is an independent, nonprofit, volunteer organization of parents that introduces the family-based treatment of eating disorders known as the Maudsley approach, as well as other usefule resources related to Maudsley.”

    co-chairs Harriet Brown, Jane Cawley

    • January 17, 2012 2:25 pm

      Harriet’s on board. We wouldn’t need to do much to get Maudsley to issue a statement.


      • Duckie Graham permalink
        January 20, 2012 2:13 pm

        Here’s the reply I got from Harriet:

        “We are well aware of the campaign. I have blogged about it, tweeted and FB’d about it. That’s about as much as I can do. Maudsley Parents isn’t really in a position to take a stand on the issue officially.


  22. Duckie Graham permalink
    January 17, 2012 2:26 pm

    The National Association for Males with Eating Disorders (NAMED)

    Founder/Executive Director: Christopher Clark, MA

    • January 17, 2012 2:29 pm

      I’ve updated with all the contacts you’ve included, and thanks again for staying on top of this. I also updated Eric Wright’s email to what I believe is the correct one.


  23. Duckie Graham permalink
    January 17, 2012 2:43 pm

    Contact the managing director of Overeaters Anonymous here:

  24. Duckie Graham permalink
    January 17, 2012 2:48 pm

    “New Moves is an evidence-based physical education program designed to promote positive self-image, healthy eating, and physical activity in adolescent girls.”

    I could not identify a person in leadership from their website.

    • Duckie Graham permalink
      January 17, 2012 3:03 pm

      Got this speedy reply from New Moves:


      Our study investigator, Dr. Dianne Neumark-Sztainer spoke out against these posters last week on MPR (Minnesota Public Radio).

      Thanks for your email.

      Colleen Freeh Flattum, MS, RD

      Research Fellow

      School of Nursing, U of Minnesota

      4-133 Weaver-Densford Hall

      308 Harvard Street SE

      Minneapolis, MN 55455

      Telephone 612.624.9175

      *Typically in office T, W, Th*”

      I’m going to see if they can forward a copy or transcript.

  25. Duckie Graham permalink
    January 17, 2012 4:41 pm

    Not sure what their leanings are, but here’s some famous people from Georgia:
    Kim Basinger, Jimmy Carter, Paula Deen, Dakota and Elle Fanning, Laurence Fishbourne, Jeff Foxworthy, Newt Gingrich, Amy Grant, Cee Lo Greene, Bill Hicks, Alan Jackson, Spike Lee, Tyler Perry, Burt Reynolds, Little Richard, Julia Roberts, Ryan Seacrest, Chris Tucker, Gary Anthony Williams…and plenty more here:

  26. Duckie Graham permalink
    January 17, 2012 4:42 pm

    Also, Monique might be a good ally here.

  27. Duckie Graham permalink
    January 17, 2012 5:45 pm

    Camryn Manheim would be a good one.

  28. Jane permalink
    January 18, 2012 5:38 am

    Drew Barrymore – I saw her on a talk show once, and she said that nobody should ever feel bad about the way they look. or something on that idea – i can’t find the quote now, but it was wonderful.

    • January 19, 2012 1:39 pm

      Drew is not on any social media sites, according to what I’ve read, so it may be hard to get ahold of her (although she would be ideal).


  29. Duckie Graham permalink
    January 20, 2012 2:13 pm

    How about Geena Davis? She’s spoken out about discrimination toward people of size, specifically tall people.

    • January 20, 2012 9:34 pm

      I’ll see if she’s on Twitter. I think we should focus on a single celebrity per week, and have as many people contact them as possible. That way our focus isn’t so dissipated.


  30. January 20, 2012 3:23 pm

    Board Members Georgia Nurses Association:

    Sheila Warren, MHA, MSN, RN President (Term ends 10/2013)
    Deborah Hackman, CAE, Chief Executive Officer

    Address: 3032 Briarcliff Road, NE
    Atlanta, GA 30329-2655
    Phone: (404) 325-5536
    Fax: (404) 325-0407

    This “campaign” of bullying and shame violates the Nurses Code of Ethics, both in U.S. and International Nurses organization. (I’m also trying to find the appropriate contact for American Nurses Association).

    • January 20, 2012 9:34 pm

      Excellent resource, hopefulandfree. I’ll add it to the list. Thanks!


  31. January 20, 2012 5:11 pm

    Just more oppression of the fat starting with the kids.

    They know the stuff in our food, is changing people’s bodies.

    But there is too much profit being made.

    So they will play blame the children game [well blame everyone who is fat game…

    Does anyone expect children to start losing weight from all this shame? Because I SURE DO NOT…

    hasn’t worked in 40 years.

    Isn’t the definition of insanity doing what does not work over and over?

    For the fat kids this will just mean more abuse, everytime their peers see a poster in front of them. I was a fat kid, I know.

  32. Duckie Graham permalink
    January 20, 2012 7:05 pm

    Good response from the Academy for Eating Disorders:

    “I am responding to your email as President-Elect, since our President is not available this week.

    Thank for drawing our attention to this campaign and the efforts organisations are making to condemn such material. At AED this is an issue we take very seriously, and this is one of a number of such examples of which we have been made aware. Rather than respond to each individually, we are preparing a position statement highlighting the issue and it’s potential impact. We will let you know when it is posted.

    Thank you again for drawing our attention to this and best wishes with the campaign!


    Dasha Nicholls

    President-elect, AED

    Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
    Great Ormond Street Hospital, London”

  33. Hidi permalink
    January 23, 2012 5:53 pm

    Thank you for all the contact information. 🙂

  34. Diet Coach permalink
    January 27, 2012 5:56 pm

    I think the over reaction is understandable but it is counter productive. Until we remove the obesogens from the food supply we will have a nation of food addiction and eating disorders. This is not a problem of morals or behavior that these groups are reacting to it is a biochemical problem that is causing things far worse than obesity.

    The real culprit is the food industry that profits from making people addicted to bad food.

  35. Duckie Graham permalink
    January 29, 2012 2:07 pm

    Contact the Georgia Farmers Bureau, President Zippy Duvall (yes, Zippy!!)

    Georgia Farm Bureau

    1620 Bass Road

    P.O. Box 7068

    Macon, GA 31209

    Telephone: +1 478 474 8411


  36. January 31, 2012 4:13 pm

    To be frank, I wouldn’t expect much from the celebs. Most are too involved with the system, a system the profits from obesity way too much. Maybe you’ll get lucky and get a break away. Food Network has so many mixed messages. They need to stop blaming the people who are getting fat. Their answers didn’t work 40 years ago, and they won’t work now. Isn’t the definition of insanity still doing the same thing that does not work over and over.

    There are class issues here too being ignored by the status quo. Obesity is a new thing for them to conduct class warfare over as well.

  37. Isabel permalink
    October 6, 2014 10:21 pm

    I may be too late to the party, but what about Michael Moore?

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