Disney to clamp down on junk food ads aimed at children in bid to curb obesity epidemic
DailyMail: Walt Disney Co, owner of the ABC broadcast network and a suite of cable channels, is axing junk-food ads from its TV programs, radio shows and websites aimed at children.
It is the latest effort to curb the worrying obesity epidemic faced by the U.S. and will force food and drinks companies to comply with strict nutrition requirements if they want to advertise during Disney’s shows.
Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger and first lady Michelle Obama made a high profile announcement regarding the new rules on Tuesday in Washington. ‘This is huge,’ said Obama, an exercise buff who has championed healthier eating and exercise habits aimed at children as part of her ‘Let’s Move’ initiative. ‘Disney is doing what no major media company has ever done before in the United States.
‘And what I hope every company will do going forward when it comes to the ads they show and the food they sell they’re asking themselves one simple question: Is this good for our kids?’ Nutrition experts have long called for an end to child-targeted junk food advertising.
The Disney move follows New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s
announcement big gubmint, nanny plan last week of a plan to ban sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces (about half a litre) in most restaurants, theaters, delis and vending carts throughout the city.
Disney plans to cut advertising during children’s programming on its networks such as ABC and Disney XD or its kid-focused websites for foods that fail to meet minimum nutrition requirements.
‘We want parents to know that the food products that we license and the ones promoted and advertised within our kids programming will be held to the same healthier standards,’ Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger said.
The new guidelines, which take effect in 2015, set limits on the number of calories and amount of fat and added sugar for main and side dishes and snacks.
Kraft Foods Inc’s Oscar Mayer Lunchables and Capri Sun products, for example, would not make the cut, Disney said. Advertised breakfast cereals will have to contain fewer than 10 grams of sugar in a serving – about the same amount as three Chips Ahoy cookies.
Disney is also launching its own ‘Mickey Check’ label for food it deems to be nutritious to help promote certain healthier foods in grocery stores and other retailers.
That same year Disney, which owns the ABC-TV network and a host of cable channels, introduced voluntary guidelines that prohibited licensing of Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters for foods that do not meet minimum nutritional requirements.
That helped sell more than 2 billon servings of Disney-licensed fruits and vegetables since then, Iger said at the event, which featured a Mickey Mouse character making yogurt parfaits surrounded by buckets of lemons, oranges and apples.
Disney’s new effort will not allow advertising during children’s programming on its networks, including ABC and Disney XD and its child-focused websites, for foods that fail to meet minimum nutrition requirements. The company could not say how many products would be affected by the new rules, but experts said not all unhealthy foods will disappear.
If this is so important, why wait three years to implement these new guidelines? Isn’t it important now? What about the children?
Oh, and if you plan to go to Disneyland, check out a few of the restaurants and their menus advertised on the Disneyland website:
Goofy’s Kitchen (buffet restaurant): Gawrsh! Enjoy a fun-filled breakfast or dinner like no other. Your host, Goofy, welcomes you to the eatery where boisterous fun is the order of the day. Enjoy all you care to eat while snapping memorable photos with Goofy and the gang.
Disney’s PCH Grill: The Surf’s Up! Breakfast with Mickey & Friends is a lively Character breakfast that features a bountiful buffet. Feast on family favorites from the omelet station, Mickey waffles and pancakes — or let your kids create their own breakfasts!
Rainforest Café: Savor generous portions of food from around the world under a shimmering fiber-optic starscape. Top off your dining safari with the restaurant’s signature desert, the Sparkling Volcano, a tower of chocolate brownies capped with ice cream and whipped cream, and drizzled with caramel and chocolate sauces.
Big Thunder Ranch Barbeque: At this barbecue blowout, you can have it all! Feast on an all-you-care-to-eat family-style meal featuring mouthwatering barbeque delights like chicken, ribs, baked beans, Cookie’s Cole Slaw and more. Dessert is available for an additional cost. You can order up an extravaganza of ranch hand sundaes and old-fashioned ice cream floats, seasonal cobblers, fresh strawberry shortcake or a family-style cookie bake topped with vanilla bean ice cream and hot fudge.
Notice how they omitted that these new guidelines don’t apply to the restaurants at their theme parks? Hypocrites.