Disney is in hot water. Not for its long lines or ticket prices, but for one of its attractions. The attraction in question, Habit Heroes, has been closed and Disney has not announced when the attraction will reopen. Habit Heroes was an attempt by the mega popular theme park to show visitors the downside of bad habits, such as gluttony and insecurity, and to promote healthy habits including food choices. See information on the story here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/24/disney-habit-heroes-anti-obesity-disney-world-epcot_n_1299664.html; http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/03/02/disney-shuts-down-anti-obesity-exhibit-after-critics-decry-it-for-being-insensitive-to-overweight-people/

http://www.prdaily.com/crisiscommunications/Articles/10984.aspx

Closer to home, earlier this year the Atlanta Journal Constitution ran a story about anti-obesity and the campaign that is currently taking place, along with the backlash they have received. See the story here: http://www.ajc.com/news/grim-childhood-obesity-ads-1279499.html

With talk of obesity problems with children and the campaigns by Disney and in the state of Georgia, what are your thoughts? Do you think Disney was using, as Boesveld stated in her article, “stereotypes traditionally used to torment overweight kids?” Are these campaigns doing more harm than good? Or, is it that some may not want to face what is going on in the nation, or even in their own household? Have any of you seen the billboards in the metro Atlanta area? What were your thoughts when you saw them the first time?

If you were asked to come up with a campaign regarding anti-obesity in children, what would you recommend? Who would your target audiences be? How would you reach them (traditional media, social media, combination, etc)?

Please note: Respond directly to this post in the comments section. Your responses must be submitted by noon, Friday, March 23, in order to receive credit. Also, leave your name at the end of your post so I know who wrote the comment.

p.s. The photo is mine. 🙂

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