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article imageDisney to ban junk food ads

By Tim Sandle     Jun 10, 2012 in Food
Walt Disney will ban junk food ads on its TV, radio and online programs by 2015. The entertainment giant will also phase out adverts for products that do not conform to its nutritional guidelines.
The company Walt Disney has taken an important step to ban adverts for 'junk food' (mainly fast food with questionable nutritional value) from its media services, as outlined in a press release. This takes the form of a new guideline which will be sent to advertisers. For the guideline, Disney sought the advice of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans standards set by the US government.
The guidelines, the BBC notes, stipulate that to be suitable for advertising, food products must contain limited levels of sugar, salt and fat. With fats, any food containing trans fats is automatically disallowed. Trans fats are a type of fat that many experts consider to be particularly damaging to health.
The guideline does not rule out all fast food. Burgers, for example, can be marketed but they must conform to the nutritional levels specified.
The Disney nutrition guidelines say that food and drink should:
a) “contribute to the nutritious diet” by promoting the consumption of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean protein (termed “approved food groups”),
b) encourage appropriate portion sizes for children based on their reduced need for calories,
c) limit nutrients such as sodium, added sugar, saturated fats and trans fats.
The move by Disney could have considerable impact upon the way food is marketed in the USA. In addition to producing films and TV shows, Disney operates several children’s television stations and also owns the U.S. national broadcaster ABC.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Disney additionally plans to reduce the amount of sodium sold in food at its theme parks by 25 per cent.
Disney's move has been welcomed by US First Lady Michelle Obama, particularly as it fits in with children’s fitness initiative, The President’s Challenge. Mrs Obama praised Disney for "doing what no major media company has ever done before in the US".
More about Disney, Junk food, Nutrition, Michelle obama
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