Disney Goes To War Against Childhood Obesity

Mickey Mouse is doing what US politicians are too afraid to do.

Stand up against America’s junk-food producers.

Walt Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger and first lady Michelle Obama will be making an official announcement later today that…Walt Disney Co, owner of the ABC broadcast network and a suite of cable channels, will stop accepting some junk-food ads on TV programs, radio shows and websites aimed at children.

Most Mousecular Mickey – Dean Armstrong


Mr. Iger said he felt strongly that “companies in a position to help with solutions to childhood obesity should do just that,” but added: “This is not altruistic. This is about smart business.”

Taking steps to combat childhood obesity allows Disney the opportunity to polish its brand as one families can trust — something that drives sales of everything from Pixar DVDs to baby clothes to theme park vacations. In addition, Disney has carefully studied the marketplace and executives say they believe there is increasing consumer demand for more nutritious food.

Mr. Iger noted that health food for children had already become “a very, very solid business” for Disney. Since 2006 consumers have purchased about two billion servings of Disney-licensed servings of fruit and vegetables, according to the company.

“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”.

Disney said that in adopting the new advertising standards it was largely following recommendations proposed last year by federal regulators. The suggestions were aimed at inducing the food industry to overhaul the way it marketed things like cereal, soda and snacks to children.

[box type=”note”]Ironically, he is talking about the very suggestions that US lawmakers were too scared to make to Junk-Food Industry lobbyists last October.[/box]

This just goes to show how public opinion can influence real change…while government plays politics.