Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Epcot's Habit Heroes Reopens. Did They Remove the Shaming?

Original Source
Longer term reader may remember that roughly one year ago I wrote a scathing piece about a new exhibit at Epcot called Habit Heroes. I felt then that the exhibit did more to vilify obesity, promote fat shaming and empower bullies than teach healthy habits.

That post of mine made a few waves and the story was picked up by the international news media and within 48 hours of posting, the exhibit was moth balled.

Well last week I received an email from Walt Disney World's Director of Public Affairs Kim Prunty letting me know that the exhibit had been reopened and inviting me to chat.  She also pointed me towards an article from the Orlando Sentinel highlighting the launch.

Suffice it to say gone are the obese villains, gone is the lazy stereotype reinforcing gluttonous kid on the sofa, and in their place are cartoons that tackle the enemies dehydration, inactivity and poor nutrition. Gone too are the ridiculously named and further bias inducing heroes Will Power and Calli Stenics.

Disney deserves real kudos for recognizing that the exhibit's first iteration was cringe worthy, as well as for deciding this time around to consult with some experts in the exhibit's imagineering including: The Director of Cornell's Food and Brand Lab Dr. Brian Wansink, the Director of Stanford's Pediatric Center for Healthy Weight Dr. Thomas Robinson and University of North Florida Nutrition Professor Dr. Judith Rodriguez.

A video of parts of the new exhibit is found on the Orlando Sentinel link up above.