Et tu, Roll Play?

December 18, 2008 at 8:45 am Leave a comment

Ian Gadsby, Web Team Supervising Producer: Roll Play

Dear Mr. Gadsby

I have been a fan of Roll Play for as long as I have been a regular consumer of children’s television, and a fan of for almost as long. My favourite thing about Roll Play has always been its inclusive approach to active play.  The Roll Play kids show amazing diversity in many respects, including body size and shape.  The overall message of the program seems to be “whoever you are, get up and move your body, because it’s FUN”.  Roll Play beautifully underscores the vital difference between “active play” and “working out”.  This is very much in line with the “Health At Every Size” approach  I hope my daughters will adopt as a lifelong habit.

Because of my love for the show, I was shocked and saddened by the game “Snack Attack” as part of Roll Play’s interactive presence.  While there is indeed more nutritional merit in an apple than in a jellybean, and choosing healthful foods as an important part of overall health, the game’s premise does not represent a healthful, balanced approach to snacking.  Dividing the world into “healthy” snacks that give points, and “bad” snacks that penalize your score normalizes a disordered relationship with food.  The premise that food is an attacking enemy that must be avoided is a potentially harmful one.  The admirable goals of encouraging kids to be active and choose healthful snacks are gravely undermined if they contribute to the frightening numbers of young  children who are affected by life-threatening eating disorders.

I urge you to remove “Snack Attack” from Roll Play’s online presence, or reconsider the scoring system.  And my daughters and I will continue to enjoy a healthful balance of active play, educational TV, interactive media, and baking cookies and cakes to share with family and friends.




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