Disney Bans Junk Food Advertising
Last week marked an exciting week for Disney, and moms and children who watch Disney programs. Realizing the strong affect that tv commercials and product marketing has on the behavior and lifestyle of children, Walt Disney Co., banned the advertising of junk food on it’s programs. However, this won’t be in full effect until 2015.
Among the supporters of this initiative were First Lady Michelle Obama. “This new initiative is truly a game changer for the health of our children,” Obama said. “So, for years, people told us that no matter what we did to get our kids to eat well and exercise, we would never solve our childhood obesity crisis until companies changed the way that they sell food to our children. We all know the conventional wisdom about that …. Today, Disney has turned that conventional wisdom on its head.”
Apparently those wishing to advertising food on the multiple Disney programs, will have to meet very specific guidelines in line with federal nutritional standards. These guidelines will include serving size, calories, fat and sugar content. For example: A full meal can’t be more than 600 calories. Of course, it will not address the actual processed or artificial content of the food items.
I will say, that Disney is certainly moving in the right direction and taking a strong stand against their part in childhood obesity. They even stopped allowing their characters to help advertise for McDonald’s Happy Meals. And last week they also introduced the Mickey Check, an icon that would identify nutritious foods and menu items sold in stores, online and at restaurants and kiosks in its parks.
But, is that enough? This does not address Big Ag businesses, and I can guarantee they will find a way to be within the guidelines and still be serving our children anemic processed foods full of GMOs. Perhaps this will get the conversation rolling in households, but I hope people won’t stop here. Let’s keep pushing for higher standards including nutrient dense, fresh, and local food.