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US: Michelle Obama praises Disney healthy food advertising move

The sights of TV advertisements for junk foods on children's channels may become the stuff of history.

The Walt Disney Company, the presence of First Lady, Michelle Obama, has announced that all food and drinks advertised on its channels now have to meet federally approved nutrition standards.

Obama praised Disney's decision. "It's huge. Just a few years ago if you had told me or any other mom or dad in America that our kids wouldn't see a single ad for junk food while they watched their favorite cartoons on a major TV network, we wouldn't have believed you," she said.

It's a voluntary move, but it has the power to bring about big changes in the way that food is marketed to children in the US. Disney has such a huge following that it is unlikely not to give ideas to other companies.

"We're taking the next important step forward by setting new food advertising standards for kids," said Disney's chairman and CEO, Robert Iger.

Across the US, a third of children and adolescents are classified overweight or obese. Meanwhile, they are exposed to $1.6bn a year worth of food and drink advertising.

Disney's initiative, branded the Magic of Healthy Living, will not come into effect until 2015 as a result of long TV advertising contracts. As part of the move, the company has introduced a new set of nutrition guidelines to which all adverts from that date will have to adhere, modelled on federal health standards.

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Publication date: 6/6/2012


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