Kids Made to Look Obese in New Ad Campaign

Anti-obesity campaign is under fire after designers digitally altered images to fatten kids.
3:00 | 06/10/13

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Transcript for Kids Made to Look Obese in New Ad Campaign
index," the uproar about a startling new ad campaign to fight childhood obesity. It shows pictures of children doctored to look obese and it's stirring up a lot of controversy. Abc's cecilia vega has that story for us. Reporter: This smiling chubby face appears in ads all around california. But this is what the little girl really looks like, much thinner and healthier. It is a state public service ad, the child models extra pounds, the result, a photo shopping. Taking a perfectly healthy ttle girl and photo shopping her to make her look unhealthily obese. People are outraged at that. Reporter: People like author marlin wann who took her outrage straight to the internet to ask how creepy is it to photoshop this child in this manner? If public health messages lie like this, why should people trust them? The agency behind the ad says the goal is to start a dialogue about healthy eating. In a statement to abc news, a spokeswoman said "this campaign serves to educate parents on the realities and dangers of childhood obesity and get them to change their behaviors." It is hardly the first childhood obesity ad to turn into a giant controversy. The doctor says I have something called hypertension. Reporter: This camn in georgia used real overweight kids, some called it downright mean. If you use real kids you're going to be called fat shamers. On the other hand if you take this kid and photoshop them it's a no-win situation. Reporter: Other photoshopped ads have gone viral for taking too much off like this ralph lauren ad showing a stick thin model and this new york city diabetes campaign, the disease didn't take the man's leg away, computer magic did but this ad photoshopped chubbiness and all shows one thing is clear, people are talking about childhood obesity and that might just be the point. For "good morning america," cecilia vega, abc news, los angeles. Childhood obesity is a problem. Do you have children who are overweight. Why not show their pictures instead of photoshopping. As they say it's pointed out those kids can get shamed, as well. This doesn't bother me if it works. If they can show this works to stop obesity -- I don't know that I want my child thinking about being fat or what she might look like if she was considered overweight. Agreed. When you change the picture, then you give them that impression as opposed to -- I'd rather spin it on its he had and positive reinforcement and about being healthy and this is what you eat. I think there's -- it's interesting, we're all talking about it but I feel like there's a way to tweak it a little bit. It isn't about how you look. Having too much sugar being obese is not about how you look but what happens inside your body. All about health. Very provocative. Also, very provocative, ian

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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