What is happening to this country? The Disney Corporation, in conjunction with a progressive insurer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, decided to dedicate some of its precious real estate at Epcot in order to teach kids the downside of obesity.
They named the site the Habit Heroes attraction. By featuring characters like Will Power and Callie Stenics taking on super-sized villains Snacker and Lead Bottom, the exhibit conveys a positive message about healthy lifestyles in a fun and empowering way. It demonstrates how feeling healthy and trim actually leads to greater self-esteem and more energy.
It was shut down before its official March 5 opening because some parents called it “horrifying, stigmatizing and insensitive.” What is insensitive are the adults who are subjecting their kids to a lifetime of pain and suffering due to the impact of excessive weight – potentially both physical and mental.
We once were a nation capable of getting a health hazard like tobacco appropriately labeled and drummed out of the lifestyles of ordinary Americans because we knew – in a public health advocacy role – what was best for our population. Now however, we are unwilling to call foul when a very similar public health epidemic is compromising the health of not only our young people but everyone. By not courageously addressing obesity we will continue impacting our economy through ever-soaring health care budgets.
Wouldn’t it be great if the Media focused attention on the laudable exercise habits of George W. Bush, Mr. and Mrs. Obama and Mitt Romney? Instead, the Media highlights this, The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance said: ‘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.”