Thursday, May 10, 2012

Disney to Bully Obese Kids With It's New Theme Park

Disney had to close a new theme park exhibit promoting healthy eating and exercise, but not because it was ineffectual. 
The reason? 
It was deemed too offensive to overweight children

Habit Heroes, an attraction at Disney's Epcot resort in Orlando, Florida, used obese cartoon villains called Snacker, Lead Bottom and The Glutton to highlight the dangers of junk food, too much television, and inactivity. 

But critics accused Disney of taking "the side of the bullies" by reinforcing stereotypes of overweight children and stigmatising them for their condition, prompting the entertainment giant to shutter the attraction for a "retooling".

Children in Grades 3 through 6 who are obese are more likely to be bullied than their normal-weight peers, a new study has found. 

"When we started this study, I really suspected that we might find that the obesity or overweight might not be the driving force," says the lead author of the study, Julie Lumeng, M.D., a professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor. "What we found is that it didn't matter. No matter how good your social skills, if you were overweight or obese you were more likely to be bullied." 

The study involved 821 US boys and girls 8 to 11 years old. In third grade, 17 percent of the children were obese and 15 percent were overweight.

A quarter of the children reported being bullied, although their mothers said about 45 percent of them were bullied.

According to the investigators, the odds of being bullied were 63 percent higher for an obese child, compared to a healthy-weight peer.

Positive Effect of Bullying the Obese

Can the bullying be considered a positive thing if it motivates a child to acquire good habits? See yourself:

Just a year ago the 6th grader Mason Harvey weighed 206 pounds. Today he's 85 pounds lighter.

Harvey says the reason he decided to lose weight was because he was being bullied. Starting in the third grade, the other kids would call him names like "fat" and "jelly roll" and push him around.

Harvey was fed up with the bullying. So he began to take small steps. He hit the gym, stopped drinking soda pop, burgers and pizza.

Today he eats carrots at school for snacks, with a bit of ranch dressing. He says he can't believe he was 85 pounds heavier.

But Harvey decided not to stop there, he insisted that his parents join him.

"We're not just sleeping in all day, laying around," explains Mike Harvey. "We're getting up, we're moving and it's making us feel better."
His father once weighed more than 324 pounds, now he's down to 298.

Obese Boys Are More Likely to Be Bullied

The researchers claim that boys more often experience overt bullying victimization than girls. Gender differences are also reported in relational victimization before adolescence in the USA. Boys are more often victims of physical bullying if they are physically weaker, while recent evidence also suggests that overweight and obese adolescent boys are more likely to be perpetrators of bullying than their average weight peers. 

See how The Prevention Team school kids stop bullying here:

Follow Us on Twitter
Like Us on Facebook
Join Us on Linkedin

No comments:

Post a Comment