The Checkup: Disney in Hot Water Over Fat Kids Ride

A new interactive ride at Disney's Epcot has the childhood obesity camp in a tizzy.

• You win some, you lose some. A win: Disney’s Space Mountain ride (am I right?). A loss: its new interactive Habit Heroes exhibit in Epcot. The Orlando Sentinel reports that the Blue Cross-sponsored attraction has drawn sharp criticism from doctors and groups aimed at helping kids with weight issues. The stated purpose of the ride is to help teach kids good habits (and break bad ones), but its detractors argue that in doing so, the ride unfairly stigmatizes—or should I say, adds to the stigmatization—of overweight and obese kids. Part of the problem seems to be the ride’s (overweight) villains, named Snacker and Lead Bottom; critics would like to see characters with a variety of body types trying to overcome bad habits. The other issue: that “the most negative habits were attached to really fat bodies.” The ride opened unofficially last month for a soft opening preview, and was set to go live on March 5th. But now that it’s received less-than-rave reviews, Disney’s pushing back Habit Heroes’s official launch date indefinitely.

• This is super cool: Alzheimer’s-like memory loss was reversed—yes, reversed—in a study involving lab mice. Application for humans is still a ways away, but it’s still a heartening step forward.

• The results from a clinical trial that took place, in part, at our own MossRehab appeared in the yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine. It looked at the effect of a drug on patients with traumatic brain injury, and reported promising results.