Health care giant Pro Health Care has an exceptionally stupid advertising campaign going on right now.
The ads on billboards and on its website feature a very enthusiastic looking kid holding a unicycle, which the ad implies, he just received for his birthday. The copy reads, “Surprise. Another potential injury.”
Seriously, you guys!? If Pro Health really wanted to portray genuine health dangers for children it might highlight the problems of childhood obesity, which that unicycle might help prevent.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. In 2012, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.
This has serious health implications for these kids both now and as they grow into adulthood. To quote from the Center’s website:
- Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure.
- Obese adolescents are more likely to have prediabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels indicate a high risk for development of diabetes.
- Children and adolescents who are obese are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem.
- Children and adolescents who are obese are likely to be obese as adults and are therefore more at risk for adult health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.
- Overweight and obesity are associated with increased risk for many types of cancer.
And what’s the solution? Again, to quote from the CDC, “The dietary and physical activity behaviors of children and adolescents are influenced by many sectors of society, including families, communities, schools, child care settings, medical care providers, faith-based institutions, government agencies, the media, and the food and beverage industries and entertainment industries.” (Emphasis mine)
So, what’s a big medical provider like Pro Health thinking when they proliferate an image of the very activity (biking) that could help prevent prevalent health problems as a cause of injury instead?
Somebody over there thought they were being clever; instead they just weren’t thinking. Pro Health should dump their stupid campaign. If they just have to portray an object that has the real danger to cause injury and death in children they should try using an image of a gun. Now, there’s a public health problem.