Nat. Association of Fat Acceptance Blasts New Disney Exhibit

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - March 1, 2012 -

Walt Disney World says it is retooling an Epcot exhibit targeting childhood obesity after critics complained that it stigmatized fat kids.

The interactive Habit Heroes attraction was closed shortly after its unofficial opening. The official March 5 opening date has been postponed indefinitely.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield partnered with Disney to create the exhibit, which takes visitors through a series of interactive experiences to fight bad habits such as too much television and junk food. Spokespeople for Disney and the health insurer say the soft opening of the exhibit was meant to collect feedback.

The National Association of Fat Acceptance accused Disney and Blue Cross of using "the tool of shame" to communicate with children.

See the statement from the National Association of Fat Acceptance below:

NAAFA is appalled to learn that Disney, a traditional hallmark of childhood happiness and joy, has fallen under the shadow of negativity and discrimination. It appears that Disney now believes that using the tool of shame, favored so much by today's healthcare corporations, is the best way to communicate with children.

Disney, in partnering with Blue Cross/Blue Shield to create the new Epcot attraction and on-line game, Habit Heroes:, has taken the side of the bullies. The attraction and game feature negative stereotypical characters such as "The Glutton, Overeating and eating too fast"; "Snacker, Too much fatty, processed food"; "Lead Bottom, Not enough exercise"; "Stinkbomb, Bad hygiene"; "The Fungus, Eating rotten or expired food"; "Stress Case, Stressing Out"; "The Prescriptor, Ignoring doctor's advice" and "Cereal Killer, No time for breakfast". The use of these stereotypes, traditionally used to torment overweight kids, will potentially reinforce and strengthen a cycle of bullying, depression, dis-ease, eating disorders and even suicidal thoughts.

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  • by Hank Location: Tallahassee on Mar 6, 2012 at 03:00 AM
    Kids are fat today because they have ignorant parents PERIOD. Feeding them garbage junk food and letting them sit on their butts all day in front of the TV. PERIOD. Parents fault.
  • by Dr. Ga Ga on Mar 4, 2012 at 03:21 AM
    Fat kids oughta be stigmatized and their parents should be knocked over the head with frying pans and made to run a marathon to set an example for their little fatties.
  • by Thom on Mar 2, 2012 at 07:00 AM
    I agree with getting people into shape (at least not obese). Disney should take its own advice though. I read the packages on a couple of the Mickey ice cream treats and they were LOADED with calories and saturated fat. (They were well above the ice cream treats you would buy at the grocery store.) Practice what you preach, Disney.
  • by Surly Location: Grrr on Mar 2, 2012 at 01:04 AM
    I think airlines should charge by the pound...
  • by TLH Location: TLH on Mar 1, 2012 at 02:01 PM
    There's nothing acceptable about obesity.
  • by anonymous on Mar 1, 2012 at 12:58 PM
    it's time we stop with the attitude that we must always make sure our kids are happy, at all times. Kids can handle the truth and must be told the truth even on such issues as their weight. No we don't need to bully but we do need to let kids know the truth about their weight. The world can be cruel and it's best if they learn to deal with the realities. Stop sheltering them and cushioning the blows. If they are going to do the deeds that make them fat them tell them they'll have to deal with the comments of others. Or, they can put on the big boy/girl pants and do something about it. They can stop eating, stop doing nothing and get out and do something. Growing up we were busy, busy, busy...all the time. We could spend all day Saturdays and Sundays outside doing tons of things. Todays kids can't seem to find anything to do if it doesn't involve the TV or computer screen or some electronic device. Add that to all the unhealthy food they eat, all the sodas they drink. Goodness when I was growing up soda was a treat that we had at a party. Today's kids drink several a day. Again, that is the parents say NO!
  • by Anonymous on Mar 1, 2012 at 12:42 PM
    Is it a bigger story that this organization is blasting Disney or that the National Association for the Acceptance of Fat exists?
  • by tl Location: Tally on Mar 1, 2012 at 12:35 PM
    More political correctness. Thats just what this country needs. I'm sure someone will be offended by this post.
  • by my advice on Mar 1, 2012 at 12:35 PM
    the problem is that when you get to over weight it is hard for you to get up and do something about it. Try and walk a mile a day! NO Time you say how much TV are you watching a night? skip on 30 min show and walk your neighborhood meet your neighbors you can do it. Then we need to teach the young people the truth and so if it's "tough Love" that we need to do so be it! it's time we as americans stop tip toeing around subjects because they will hurt their feelings. dont blame anyone! blame the fact that parents are not making kids eat the proper foods! McDonald's and BK are so easy to get. when I was young if I got McDonalds once a month I would have been lucky. PLEASE TAKE THE TIME AND FEED YOUR CHILDREN HEALTHY FOOD!!!
  • by Walt on Mar 1, 2012 at 12:11 PM
    People can't take the truth, especially Americans - who have to be the most ignorant people on this earth (when one considers the educational opportunities available). Yes, soon the morons out there will be saying there's a "war" against fatties, just like the idiots that claim there's a "war" against religion or against christmas. The only "war" out there is the war against intelligence, and bible-thumping morons are winning that one. Who in their right mind could ever consider a self-serving narcissistic hypocrite like Santorum for any kind of public office?
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