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Disney Closes New Habit Heroes Exhibit

Habit Heroes, a new attraction at Epcot Center at Walt Disney World, was scheduled to open on March 5th, but is now postponed indefinitely. The exhibit was designed in partnership with Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance.
Housed inside Innoventions, the park's futuristic showcase of ideas, Habit Heroes features animated fitness buffs Will Power and Callie Stenics, who take groups of up to 12 guests through interactive rooms, where they fight bad habits such as too much television and junk food.

Cartoon villains include the super-sized Snacker and Lead Bottom.

The insurance company's goal is to encourage healthier habits among kids, so they will improve their health while lowering health-care costs, said insurance officials.

After test runs, the attraction drew criticism from the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance and other groups.
"We're appalled to learn that Disney, a traditional hallmark of childhood happiness and joy, has fallen under the shadow of negativity and discrimination," came a heated 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," said the association's statement. "Disney, in partnering with Blue Cross/Blue Shield, has taken the side of the bullies."

Read more at The Orlando Sentinel. Pictured here is the character Lead Bottom. Link -via Fark

I've been through this exhibit at EPCOT and it was fun for all the kids surrounding me. This exhibit was to support healthy habits by dancing to promote exercise, healthy foods trumping junk food to stop bad eating habits, and promoting to turn off the tv and go outside to play and be like every other child before technology took over. I'm sorry if fat people can't accept that they have made improper choices in their lifestyles and have reflected those choices towards their children, but Disney being "fat-shamers" is pathetic. They can't handle the truth. If they are fat from a health problem, that's one thing, but they would know the difference and not complain about teaching children to be healthier.
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National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance? Ha! I'm not going to a fat acceptance blog or anything to actually see what they have to say, because the name alone is preposterous according to my oversimplified prejudices about fat. I'm now going to the various corners of the internet to encourage people to stop being fat by being cruel to them, because ubiquitous cruelty to overweight people seems to be working so far.
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The biggest issue I had with the Habit Heroes Exhibit is it perpetuates the idea that fat=evil, thin=good. Besides that, shaming people about their weight DOES NO GOOD. Evidence shows that shaming kids about their size leads to disordered eating (both under and over eating), low self-esteem, and bullying.

Our kids should be encouraged to eat healthily and find a way to move that they enjoy. Putting kids down is not a way to make them strong!
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I think people are going too far with this. It was a great attraction. It made you get up and go. My family and I went through this attraction twice and each time everyone that went through had a blast. Check out this video of the whole attraction:
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Contrary to what many are thinking, I'm actually very happy we live in a country where we have a "National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance". I'd be more upset if I lived in a country where groups like this were banned because someone somewhere deemed being fat as bad. Last I checked, we still have individual freedom. If being fat makes someone happy, then more power to them... and I see nothing wrong with them forming a group to promote acceptance of that. However, on the flip side, I don't want to have to pay for their poor health choices... but that is a sperate debate in and of itself.

I think at the root of this issue is a confused message. Disney is making the superheros fit and the villans fat. It can be construed as fighting bad habits, but it can also be taken as fighting fat people themselves ("hey, let's beat up the fat kid!"). The message is in poor taste. They should have crafted something better to promote a positive message that encourages overweight kids to adopt better habits.
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Down with fat acceptance!

They got a right to fight for fat, but they are idiots, we should crush them and their cause, and I hope Disneyland turns on the ride.
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It makes me sick to know we live in a country where there exists a "national association to advance fat acceptance". I'd like to form a national association for stop being lazy, learn to be healthy, and get off your butt and start exercising. This whole article is ridiculous.
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National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance?
NO. Not even once. I refuse to just accept fatness.

When we simply give in and accept fat, we have lost the fight against it.
Fat can be a domino chain putting the public at risk. Illnesses brought on by weakened immune systems riddled by heart disease, diabetes, poor kidney function, etc can be contracted easier by obese people who are already health-comprimised. I view fatness as publicly offensive as smoking. Get fat, get weakened immune system, get sick...spread sick to me....and make me sick too. How is that fair, when I'm eating right, working out, and staying healthy? We both shop at the same stores, so I have to just deal with coughing,sneezy tubbo riding around in the power scooter, because he/she refused to put down the chicken and milkshakes?
Fat is not a race. It is not a gender. It is something we can all do something about, so I refuse to accept ANY fat as something I just have be ok with.
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How about The National Society for The Acceptance of Learning How Many Damn Calories You're Supposed to Have In a Day, Stick to That Damn Number and Stop Blaming Everyone Else But Yourself?
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Disney is part of the childhood obesity problem. A culture of escapist movies and passive television viewing (with plenty of commercials for junk food) has created these blobs. Turn off the tube, and send the kids outside to play.
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Find another way to express it then. Using the cutesy Superhero motif only makes obesity into a villain to be beaten up. As if overweight kids don't have enough of the world ganging up on them already.
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Innoventions is a part of Epcot that's supposed to be educational. Epcot in general has a focus on learning (about the environment, technology, different cultures, etc). Some of those spaces have corporate sponsors, so it's not totally out there that Blue Cross/Blue Shield would sponsor the exhibit.

I see nothing wrong with having an exhibit on how poor nutritional choices and a lack of exercise is detrimental to one's health. Not having seen the exhibit, though, I can't comment on whether the tone was right...
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Shaming people for being fat does not make people thin, but it can contribute to eating disorders, particularly among young people.

People are fat for many reasons, some genetic, some psychological, some economic, some medical. No one wants to be fat, and it's rarely a matter of pure laziness. Helping people to address underlying problems would be a lot more effective than just piling on additional humiliation.

And this exhibit, which really involved fighting fat people, couldn't lead to anything other than an increase in obnoxious, judgy children, some of whom seem to have commented above.
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Ooh! Ooh!

They could replace it with the "Mommy, why do all the old fat people have stumps instead of feet?" exhibit. Sponsored by Novartis.
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How is this supposed to be entertaining? You pay Disney a hell of a lot of money to get into Epcot to sit through insurance-company-backed propaganda? WTF?
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I'm kind of surprised - Disney, and fairy tales in general, have ALWAYS been about forcing or even shaming people into doing what's "right" or "moral" at the time. How is this different? I really don't see a problem with the exhibit.
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So now they'll have to remove all of their svelt characters since it makes fat people feel bad. Perhaps they should raze the exhibit and just put in a big kiva so everyone can hug and sing songs to each other. Hell they should tear down the Small World since it exploits robotic children.

PC has gone too damn far. Call a spade a spade and be done with it.
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Ummm... I get that we shouldn't make fun of people who are overweight. I'm on board with that. But at the same time, suggesting that maybe people would be better off if they weren't fat and that they can change that by changing their bad habits isn't exactly a horrible thing to do...
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