Shocking Anti-Obesity PSA Sparks Debate
An anti-obesity campaign video featuring a 300-pound man having a heart attack in the ER as his life of overeating flashes before his eyes is going viral, stirring viewers with its powerful life-or-death message. The PSA, “Rewind the Future,” is from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Strong4Life wellness movement, which has made waves in the past with its shock-value campaigns. The latest video has been viewed more than 3 million times since Sunday, and is sparking intense discussion about obesity on Reddit and YouTube.
“This was me when I was a kid,” wrote one Redditor, referring to the story conveyed in the video’s succinct minute and 42 seconds. It focuses on a 32-year-old man and his path to heart disease, which began in childhood with unhealthy eating and video-game habits. Another shared, “I’m 5’9, 32 years old and almost 300 pounds. I played all those gaming systems and pretty much grew up like that… I think for the first time, a PSA got to me.”
Others offered diet and fitness tips, and a few physicians even weighed in, including one who offered this: “As someone who is overweight (working on it, have lost considerable weight) and an MD, obesity is a very, very personal and important topic for me. I have seen time and time again obese patients crash in the hospital. Obesity is perhaps one of the worst comorbidities to have for a hospital patient. It complicates everything. Every. Single. Thing.… And while I do understand that these patients are responsible for their conditions, I cannot help but feel empathetic when I look back at my own history.”
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, one of the largest pediatric providers in the country, originally launched the video back in 2012. But it didn’t make much of a splash until it resurfaced this week on Reddit and was subsequently picked up by BuzzFeed. “Now was when the conversation was ready to happen,” CHA wellness marketer Carolina Cruxent told Yahoo Health, referring to recent national discussions about soda bans, nutrition in schools, and obesity in general. “The time was just right.”