View Full Version : Epcot’s ‘Habit Heroes’ Exhibit Causes Controversy and Closes

27-02-2012, 09:55 AM
Walt Disney World’s Epcot recently opened a new exhibit in Innoventions, a showcase of various exhibits designed to promote new ideas and technologies. The new exhibit, “Habit Heroes,” was a joint effort by Disney and Blue Cross and Blue Shield to combat childhood obesity through interactive games.

Last week, the mini-attraction came under intense pressure for the way it portrayed obesity, overweight people (in particular, children), and the concept of “fat-shaming.” In particular health care professionals in Canada began to speak out after seeing the attraction, causing the uproar to spread across the Internet quickly.

Dr Yoni Freedhoff, an assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Ottawa said “It’s so dumbfounding it’s unreal, I just can’t believe somebody out there thought it was a good idea to pick up where the school bullies left off and shame kids on their vacation.”

“Rebecca Scritchfield, an adjunct professor at George Washington University, said she was “disgusted” by the exhibit’s implication that weight is indicative of health, writing: “I would love to know what sickos thought this up.”

Disney have now has closed the attraction until further notice and also shut down the Disney's Habit Heroes website indefinitely for maintenance. "Sorry, Habit Heroes is down for maintenance."

27-02-2012, 10:10 AM
Well it's not just Disney, it's society in general which strives to normalise everyone in every way.
...but ah well, I'll have a cup of tea and try not to go there :lol:

27-02-2012, 02:37 PM
I can fully understand however, where Disney was coming from in this particular case. Childhood obesity is an epidemic that leads to problems with one's heart and can lead to both Type I and Type II diabetes. Kids today get far too little exercise, instead opting for computer games or videos. Also most of them get a steady diet of fast food or even in school food that isn't necessarily nutritious. When I was in school we didn't have the soft drink and candy machines that were placed in a lot of schools but are now being phased back out as schools try to present healthier options.

I didn't see the exhibits or the website but I feel relatively certain that Disney's intentions were good.

27-02-2012, 03:09 PM
I didn't see the exhibits or the website but I feel relatively certain that Disney's intentions were good.

intentions I'm sure were good, but let's keep a happy place where kids can be different, even if they're a different shape from "ideal" without being made to feel bad about themselves. IMHO the way to help children is in a careful positive way in the right place at the right time with the support of the right people. Self worth is fragile at any age, but especially so in our younger years, no one needs to go on holiday to Disney to feel bad and put down.

Again, I'm sure it wasn't the intention but then this is why Disney has to be incredibly careful trying to use a theme park to educate on such an individually sensitive issue.

27-02-2012, 03:49 PM
Here is some more information about it:

Epcot guests can now join Will Power and his partner Callie Stenics in an interactive journey to fight off bad habits and become a Habit Hero.

Located at Innoventions East, the brand-new health and wellness experience allows guests to target unhealthy habits and battle such villains as Control Freak, Sweet Tooth, The Snacker, and Lead Bottom. Upon completing the mission, guests can get scanned into the virtual world of Habit Heroes.com and enjoy the companion online game from the convenience of their home.

Sweet Tooth Fairy and Lead Bottom

This video shows you some of the attraction, I can see why there were so many complaints. Disney had the right idea, but the way they went about it was completely wrong :sigh: