Wii Fat girl appears on BBC, “mortified” mother calls for warning

By Patrick Garratt
21 May 2008 16:39 GMT


This isn’t going away. The UK girl branded “overweight” by Wii Fit has appeared on the BBC News with her mother, who has called for a warning to be put onto the game.

“I was mortified,” said mum, talking of 11 year-old Tobia’s request to go on a diet after the incident. “You can see she’s just lovely and tall and slim, and I was really upset. I think there should be an age limit on the BMI calculation on the game.”

She added: “She’s at a very impressionable age. She’s growing up. She’s starting high school in September and I don’t want her going on a diet. She’s got a lot of growing left to do, and I don’t think children should be told they’re overweight or obese.”

“The whole process of labelling a child as overweight or obese is not helpful,” said the program’s ‘Doctor Jonty’.

“It’s a shame, because we have a problem with childhood obesity and we want to do is to be encouraging children to take more physical activity, and, sadly, having to do that through electronic means, through the Wii, may be a good way of doing that. So the fact that Tobia was doing it is great: she was taking some physical activity. What we don’t want is children worrying excessively about their weight at such an early age, because then you’ve got the risk of eating disorders in the longer term.”

The girl’s mother did go on to say that she’d have no problem letting Tobia continue to play Wii Fit as it sounded “fantastic”, but reiterated the point that there should be a warning on the product for parents.

Nintendo has already released a statement on the matter, offering an apology “to any customers offended by the in-game terminology used to classify a player’s current BMI status, as part of the BMI measurement system integrated into Wii Fit.”

Watch the video here.

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