I recently saw this news article about a Disney exhibit concerning obesity. I'd love to hear what the paleofolk have to say about it. It was removed after protests from organizations including the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance. (Yes, it's a real organization, not just a Family Guy episode.)
My question is, how do you address healthy food choices with the children in your life? Have you helped a child combat obesity in your quest to become healthier yourself? Better yet, how do you address questions your children might have about their overweight classmates? Is this exhibit really that far off target?
I don't believe anyone ever truly wants to shame someone into better choices, but at what point do we stop tip-toeing around the real risks and consequences of obesity and start being honest?
Society views obesity as a sign of gluttony, sloth, and lack of discipline--none of which is actually true.
Some of the most disciplined people in the world are those on a traditional restricted-calorie diet. And when they fail to lose weight or keep it off in the long run (because nobody can keep up that kind of discipline forever) what does society call them? Lazy and undisciplined.
Notice the good guys in this exhibit are "Will Power" and "Callie Stenics," and the bad guys are "Snacker" and "Lead Bottom."
What's needed is an exhibit of what actually causes obesity: the dietary recommendations doctors and the government have been pushing on us. I'd like to see an exhibit titled "Why the food pyramid is the cause of the obesity epidemic."
Speaking as a recovering obese person, I do not think that a theme park is the place you need to get a lecture. We are constantly bombarded by ridiculous common-wisdom "lifestyle" PSA's from Government and Corporate entities alike - and they treat obesity as a product of laziness or poor food choices, but the alternatives they provide ("heart healthy whole grains") are the cause, not the solution.
The interests of these "healthy choice" PSA's - from a Corporate point of view, simply want to elevate the perception that they give a rats ass. Do you think Disney will stop selling the Mickey Mouse icecream bars at every corner of their park? Do you think they will no longer sell deep fried food in Epcot? Stop the Biergarten buffet?
So no, I don't think Disney should have an exibit on obesity, and by that same token, nor should McDonald's, Kelloggs, or any other corporate entity. It's thinly veiled PR, at best.
The biggest draw to an exhibit like this at a theme park is likely going to be the shortest line. It's sad that someone in marketing decided that parents aren't capable of teaching children about obesity, so Disney needs to take it upon themselves.
I would probably check it out because it's ridiculous, but I wouldn't consider this an exhibit that my child would "have to see".
Why doesn't Disney try something completely off the wall like having healthier food options? I know they say they do offer more now but I went there 2 years ago and wasn't really impressed. We ended up having to order adult meals for the kids because they don't want to eat french fries and mac and cheese for every. single. meal.
My niece is overweight....probably technically obese. It absolutely breaks my heart to think of how she would feel seeing something like this. I don't think shaming is ever the way to go. All that accomplishes is to make kids feel badly about themselves. When you feel like you aren't good enough, you treat yourself like you aren't good enough. I think a better option would be to encourage kids to eat well and move more and to make it fun.
My girls are only 2 and 3yrs, but I am already trying to put focus on health (not size) with them. They know that I work out to be healthy. They know they have to take naps and eat good food in order to get big and strong. I want them to value their bodies and treat them well in order to live a good life. I would hate to ever have them shamed into doing what is right for them. There are already too many negative influences (Disney princesses for one), I try to make healthy habits a positive and fun thing.
We recently had an issue with my 3 year old calling people fat. I explained that that wasn't a nice word. I didn't know what else to say. The last thing I need is for her to call someone out in public. I also don't want her making any other (overweight) kiddos feel bad.
The whole "obesity exhibit at Disneyworld" sent me into a full blown, foulmouthed snarkfest. I think I could have done Dennis Leary proud. So this is going to be a rant.
SUUUUUUUUUUURE DISNEY, you care so much about obesity. Have to teach those kids the same old conventional wisdom that's worked so well... oh right, it hasn't. If you care so much, why do you licence your characters on junk food? Princess fruit snacks? Sheesh, Nickelodeon got the menu years ahead of you and started stamping Spongebob on carrot sticks. Oh, and can't forget all those Mcdonald's tie-ins!
Why do you always do some kind of junk food promo with your dvd releases? Buy this movie get pop candy and popcorn free!
So you're not advertising junk food on Disney channel anymore - good job, but a little half-A**ed. What about all the ABC stations?
All the changes Disney's making, I think it's a short term PR gesture. They'll go back to business as usual as soon as the media coverage dies down. There's just too much money in pushing junk food.
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