The company issued the statement following reports of indignant parents who took offense after the game labeled their kids overweight. An article in the Daily Mail quoted an anonymous father who claimed his daughter was “devastated” after the game called her fat. “She is a perfectly healthy, 4ft 9in tall ten-year-old who swims, dances and weighs only six stone,” he said. “She is solidly built but not fat. She was devastated to be called fat and we had to work hard to convince her she wasn’t.”
Tam Fry of the U.K.’s National Obesity Forum said Body Mass Index measurements, which the system uses to categorize players, can be misleading in children and said they should be banned from playing the game. “I’m absolute aghast that children are being told they are fat,” he said. “BMI is far from perfect, but with children it simply should not be used. A child’s BMI can change every month and it is perfectly possible for a child to be stocky, yet still very fit.”
“I would be very concerned if children were using this game and I believe it should carry a warning for parents,” he added.
Nintendo said it would not place a warning on the game, but said it was sorry for any offense it caused. “Nintendo would like to apologize 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,” the company said. “Wii Fit is still capable of measuring the BMI for people aged between two and 20 but the resulting figures may not be entirely accurate for younger age groups due to varying levels of development.”