By 2015, the Walt Disney Co. will require advertising that targets kids and families to be in line with federal nutrition guidelines that promote eating fruit and vegetables; limiting calories; and reducing fat, sodium and sugar. The Disney Channel, its sisters (Disney XD, Disney Junior, Radio Disney) and Disney-owned online sites will follow suit.
"Under the new rules, products like Capri Sun drinks and Kraft Lunchables meals — both current Disney advertisers — along with a wide range of candy, sugared cereal and fast food, will no longer be acceptable advertising material," reports Brooks Barnes for The New York Times. "This new initiative is truly a game changer for the health of our children," said First Lady Michelle Obama, who helped make today's announcement. "This is a major American company — a global brand — that is literally changing the way it does business so that our kids can lead healthier lives. 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. When it comes to the ads they show and the food they sell, they are asking themselves one simple question: Is this good for our kids?" American children see about $1.6 billion a year worth of food and beverage marketing, much of which are ads that sell food that is high in calories and sugar and low in nutrition. The effort is meant to curb childhood obesity, which is a growing problem in Kentucky and nationwide. In 2007, 37 percent of Kentucky children were either obese or overweight, National Conference of State Legislatures numbers show. (Read more)