Media giant Walt Disney to ban junk food ads

 
Mickey Mouse and a chef prepare food in Washington. Photo: 5 June 2012 Disney's move is part of a growing campaign to fight child obesity in America

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US media giant Walt Disney has said it will ban junk food ads on its TV, radio and online programmes.

The firm, which also runs famous theme parks, said it was setting new nutrition standards to tackle America's growing problem of child obesity.

US First Lady Michelle Obama described the initiative as a "game changer".

However, the new rules will not come into effect until 2015, and much will depend on how Disney defines junk food, correspondents say.

Makers of junk food and sugary drinks spend about $1bn (£650m) a year on commercials directed at children under 12 years.

Scepticism

Disney said that any cereals with 10 grams or more of sugar per serving or a full meal with more than 600 calories would not be advertised.

Sugary drinks and high sodium products would also be off the air, the company said.

Michelle Obama said Disney was changing its business model to tackle obesity

CEO Bob Iger acknowledged there might be a short-term dip in advertising revenue, but added that the company would adjust and create new products that meet standards.

Mrs Obama, an active campaigner to curb child obesity, welcomed the plan.

"Just a few years ago if you had told me or any other mom or dad in America that our kids wouldn't see a single ad for junk food while they watched their favourite cartoons on a major TV network, we wouldn't have believed you," she was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.

Recent studies have shown that almost a third of America's children are overweight or obese.

Inevitably, there is scepticism about Disney's move, the BBC's Paul Adams in Washington reports.

Still, it is all part of a growing campaign to fight obesity, our correspondent adds.

Last week, in the first move of its kind by an American city, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed a ban sales of super-sized sugary drinks in restaurants, delis, cinemas and sports arenas.

 

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 245.

    "243.Sixp
    On jimmy Dohertys new show the DNA analysis of a Tesco meatball showed it came from over 100 different animals."

    So what?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 244.

    "Junk food" doesn't make you overweight, too many calories do. I eat ice cream and triple whoppers with cheese most weekends whilst maintaining a 30" waist.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 243.

    233. JohnGammon
    Why don't these big food firms don't simply reduce the salt and sugar content
    ...
    Because the basic ingredients are of such low quality they require salt and sugar to give a semblance of flavour. On jimmy Dohertys new show the DNA analysis of a Tesco meatball showed it came from over 100 different animals. Yum..

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 242.

    "Rather a snob than an overweight ketchup stained slob."

    Well, I'm glad to let you know you are indeed a snob. Jamie Oliver cookbooks, my word, not a very proficient snob either.

  • Comment number 241.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 240.

    I take it Disney will also be removing its endorsement for all the Disney inspired computer games responsible for fat princesses sedentary lifestyles.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 239.

    235.mwng
    "Hmm, snobbery, untrue snobbery at that. Even Michelin starred chefs would admit to enjoying a big mac on occasion."
    //////
    Call me a snob as much as you like, but since I started cooking home made burgers and chips inspired by one of Jamie Olver cookbooks, my family and I don't touch the McD stuff anymore. Rather a snob than an overweight ketchup stained slob.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 238.

    "236.mscracker

    My concern is New York City trying to dictate what size drinks folks can buy."Nanny" state."

    It is ironic, right in the capital of the 'small government' free-market - surprised NYC hasn't been labeled 'socialist' for saying that ;-)

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 237.

    Junk food is often quick and easy to prepare, eat but is thought to be bad for health. Fast food restaurants, fast food chains provide food for almost immediate consumption. Whether the food served has real nutritional value is the moot point. In most cases the food is just filling, adding unflattering kilos to your frame. We all love crisps, hamburgers but we should consider the negative impact.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 236.

    Disney is a business & can serve/advertise whatever foods they choose.It may or may not work for their profits, but it's their call.
    My concern is New York City trying to dictate what size drinks folks can buy."Nanny" state.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 235.

    "Only if you don't know what proper food tastes like"

    Hmm, snobbery, untrue snobbery at that. Even Michelin starred chefs would admit to enjoying a big mac on occasion.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 234.

    228.Memberitoldu
    "junk food tastes good"
    ////
    Only if you don't know what proper food tastes like. Chips, burgers and hotdogs don't taste of anything unless covered in copious amounts of ketchup and mustard.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 233.

    Why don't these big food firms don't simply reduce the salt and sugar content of their food gradually? They'd have many more patrons in the long run and nobody would notice. I had a big-chain burger meal recently. I felt unsatisfied and sick after.

    Incidentally, I visited Disneyland in California twice 30 years ago and was impressed that there was a choice of healthy food alongside the junk.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 232.

    Junk food advertising and it’s banning from youth media itself, is all well and good so long as you also tackle in programme issues such as content as well.

    Take nickelodeon’s “Sponge Bob” He drives a car made out of a Burger, he works in a fast food joint, surley this is nothing but back door advertising for that industry?

    Surly this is wrong, and surly this has to stop right?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 231.

    Are they taking the Mickey!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 230.

    Wouldn't be surprised if some corporation or other decides to take Disney to court and sue and they are actually granted their day in court. . US legal system being what it is.

    After all, corporations have the same rights as the individual in the US.

    Regarding exercise not benefiting depression, what pharma company funded that ?

    DON'T BELIEVE IT.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 229.

    131.Anthony Mortlock
    3 Hours ago
    Good for them..I still can't believe McDonalds sponsorship of the Olympic
    games....what person at LOCOG agreed to that!
    ---
    The one with new Porsche probably...

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 228.

    junk food tastes good and having been to disney land loads of times, its mainly hot dogs burgers etc, who cares ? you are on holiday !!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 227.

    This is a good idea. Most American schoolchildren will not recognise Benjamin Franklin or be able to point out a potato or broccoli. But I guarantee they immediately recognise Ronald McDonald and chips.

    There should be strict regulation providing healthy and fresh food in in all schools. And pizza and chips do not count as vegetables!

    Idiocy like this is on a par with parental irresponsibility.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 226.

    New rules will not come into effect until 2015; that's a long way away.
    Much will depend on how Disney defines junk food, correspondents say. Why is this being left to Disney?
    If it's junk, and Disney has committed to ban junk food ads, the ads should be vetted by an independent organization before continued utilization or implementation.

 

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