After much deliberation and even more hugging, Baymax, the lovable personal companion robot and star of Walt Disney Animation Studio’s action-packed comedy adventure and Academy Award® Nominated film “Big Hero 6,” was today named Most Huggable Character of 2015 on National Hugging Day™!
The coveted award was presented by the Ambassador of Hugs, Kevin Zaborney, founder and creator of National Hugging Day.™ Baymax humbly accepted the award from his residence in San Fransokyo where he attributed the honor to his “non-threatening, huggable design” and said he looks forward to spending the upcoming year giving and receiving hugs from all.
The Most Huggable Character Award coincides with this month’s National Hugging Day™ held annually on January 21. National Hugging Day™ was created to encourage people around the world show more affection in public. There is only one way you are supposed to celebrate the holiday: offer a hug to anyone and everyone you want.
Past winners of the Most Huggable Awards have included Joan Rivers who wrote after receiving her award, “I’m tempted to start saying ‘Can we hug?’ instead of ‘Can we talk'” alluding to her participating in a telephone company ad; Jeff Ondash (aka Teddy McHuggins); Tessla Queen (bingtopia.com); and Mata Amritanandamayi (Kerela, India known as the “Hugging Saint”).
THE MOST ORIGINAL, HUGGABLE HERO OF ALL
SHARES THE 10 BENEFITS OF HUGGING!
1) Hugs make us feel “happy”! When we hug another person, our bodies release oxytocin, a hormone associated with “happiness,” according to scientific studies. 
2) Hugs alleviate stress! Just as a good hug increases our oxytocin levels, it decreases our cortisol or “stress” levels. 
3) Babies need hugs as much as water and food! According to researchers at Harvard University, hugs help promote normal levels of cortisol necessary for child development. 
4) Hugs make us better students! Students who receive a supportive touch from a teacher are twice as likely to volunteer in class. 
5) Hugs improve our game! Scientists at University of California, Berkley discovered that the more affectionate members of a team are with each other, the more likely they are to win. 
6) A hug a day keeps the doctor away! A hug stimulates the thymus gland, which in turn regulates the production of white blood cells that keep us healthy and disease-free. 
7) A hug stops the bug! Researchers at Carnegie Mellon proved that individuals who were sick and received hugs had less severe symptoms and were able to get better quicker. 
8) A hugging heart is a healthy heart! Research from University of North Carolina showed that a good hug helps ease blood flow and lower cortisol levels, which in turn help lower our heart rates. 
9) A hugging couple is a happy couple! Couples that experience their partners’ love through physical affection share higher oxytocin levels. 
10) Hugs let someone know you care without having to say a word! According to Dacher Keltner, professor of psychology at University of California, Berkeley, we can identify love from simple human touch – imagine how much love a big hug can communicate!