Disney Shuts Obesity Exhibit Because It Insults Fat Kids

Critics complain about 'Habit Heroes' Epcot attraction
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2012 11:44 AM CST
Disney Shuts Obesity Exhibit Because It Insults Fat Kids
In this file photo taken Nov. 9, 2010, Disney characters Mickey Mouse, left, and Minnie Mouse, arrive at the grand opening celebration of the premier Disney Store in Times Square, New York.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, file)

(Newser) – Disney World, that purveyor of churros, cotton candy, and ice cream bars shaped like Mickey Mouse's head, recently installed a childhood obesity exhibit at Epcot, and critics quickly blasted the theme park … for stigmatizing overweight children. "We're appalled to learn that Disney, a traditional hallmark of childhood happiness and joy, has fallen under the shadow of negativity and discrimination," goes the response from the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance. "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 has since decided to delay the official opening of the Habit Heroes attraction, which had been planned for March 5.

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The attraction unofficially opened last month in the park's Innoventions exhibit, the Orlando Sentinel reports, but it has been closed for "improving and refining." The interactive attraction, which Disney partnered with Blue Cross and Blue Shield to create, featured animated guides ("Will Power" and "Callie Stenics") who took visitors through experiences allowing them to "fight" bad habits (too much TV, junk food, not enough exercise) and villains ("Snacker," "Sweet Tooth," "Lead Bottom"). One critic complains that "the most negative habits were attached to really fat bodies," and wants Disney to instead portray people of all sizes indulging in poor habits. (Read more Disney stories.)

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