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Disney Takes a Surprising Stand By Banning Junk Food Ads Aimed at Children

David Paul Morris, Getty Images

In an effort to promote healthier eating, the Walt Disney company said on Tuesday that it’s banning junk food ads on its TV channels, radio stations and websites intended for children — and first lady Michelle Obama has given the plan her stamp of approval.

Because of existing advertising agreements, the ban won’t go into effect until 2015. But when it does, it’ll be groundbreaking.

“With this new initiative, Disney is doing what no major media company has ever done before in the US — and what I hope every company will do going forward,” Mrs. Obama said.

And just because a kid-specific meal tosses in a vegetable doesn’t mean it’ll make the cut. “It’s not just about reformulating a meal for a single advertising opportunity,” said Leslie Goodman, Disney’s senior vice president of corporate citizenship, adding that a complete meal under Disney’s guidelines could have no more than 600 calories.

Margo Wootan, nutrition policy director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, applauds Disney’s efforts, saying the announcement “really puts a lot of pressure on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network and other media to do the same.”

[Associated Press]

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