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Disney to Ban Junk Food Commercials From Kids Programming

Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

Looks like Michelle Obama has another ally in her war against child obesity: Mickey Mouse.

Disney has reportedly banned advertisements for “unhealthy foods” from their children’s programming, such as candy and snack cakes.  Instead, they will only air ads that meet the company’s standards for “healthy” foods.

By 2015, all food and beverage products that are advertised, promoted or sponsored on the Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, Radio Disney, and Saturday morning programming for kids on ABC-owned stations (Disney owns ABC) will have to meet the company’s nutrition criteria for limiting calories and reducing saturated fat, sodium and sugar.

Many foods, such as prepackaged lunches, fruit drinks, candy and snack cakes, won’t make the cut. The nutrition criteria were created by experts to reflect the government’s dietary guidelines.

“Parents can be confident that foods associated with Disney characters or advertised on Disney platforms meet our new, healthier nutrition guidelines,” Robert Iger, chairman and CEO of Disney said in a statement.

The company says it’s already working with major food companies to reformulate products so they can be advertised during children’s programming.

I get what they’re trying to do, but Disney’s aiming at the wrong people with this. It’s not really the kids who buy the candy and the snack cakes and the junk food, it’s the parents who buy it for them, right? I really don’t think having ads for healthy foods is going to make kids want them more.

By the way, quick question: how many of these snacks and candy have Mickey Mouse or Disney Princesses or other such characters plastered all over them? Just a thought…

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