Disney to Cut Junk Food Ads Aimed at Kids
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In an effort to battle childhood obesity, the Walt Disney Company announced on Tuesday its plan to promote healthier products on its child-focused radio stations, websites and television channels, including Saturday morning cartoons on ABC-owned stations, the New York Times reports.
Disney aims to have all food and beverage products advertised, promoted and sponsored by the company conforming to the nutritional restrictions by 2015.
The new regulations, which apply to any programming targeted to children under 12, mean a dramatic shift away from many of Disney's current advertisers, which include Kraft Lunchables and Capri Sun. In fact, most kid-friendly products, such as sugared cereal, fast food and candy, will no longer meet Disney's strict standards.
The company is reportedly working with major food companies to overhaul their products in an effort to conform to Disney's new regulations.
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Disney's initiative to promote better nutrition extends beyond just advertisements. The company plans to revamp the children's meals at its theme parks by reducing sodium in them by 25 percent. Disney will also expand the number of venues selling fruits and vegetables in its domestic theme parks to 350 out of a possible 400.
In addition, Disney will create public service announcements promoting exercise and healthy eating for children.
The company will also introduce the Mickey Check into grocery aisles, a symbol that will mark food and beverage products that meet Disney's nutritional standards.
First Lady Michelle Obama praised Disney for its efforts to promote healthier eating.
"With this new initiative, Disney is doing what no major media company has ever done before in the U.S. — and what I hope every company will do going forward," she said in a statement.
Disney's initiative comes days after New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg's proposed ban on the sale of sugary sodas larger than 16 ounces.
Check out Disney's guidelines here.
What do you think of the plan?