Disney recently ran a trial exhibit at it’s Epcot Center, called Habit Heroes, in which animated characters named "Will Power" and "Callie Stenics" led visitors through the interactive site helping them fend off bad guys like "Glutton" and "Lead Bottom."
The exhibit was launched with the support of Blue Cross and Blue Shield with the intention of helping fight childhood obesity‘however, it’s hard to believe that a children’s theme park is the appropriate forum for that message.
Medical doctor Yoni Freehoff recently commented about the exhibit on his blog, Weighty Matters (one of the 2011 Best Health Blog Award winners). In the post, Freedhoff slammed Disney for "reinforcing society’s most hateful negative obesity stereotyping."
With criticism of the exhibit spreading across the Internet, Disney has since closed the attraction for revisions.
Would over-weight villains named Glutton, Snacker and Lead Bottom really be effective in encouraging healthy eating and physical activity habits? Or does presenting these characters as villains only further shame children who are already struggling with their weight?