Walt Disney World news

Junk food ads will be banned from Disney media

Leah Zanolla | Posted: Jun 6, 2012 | Updated: Oct 19, 2014 - 9:25:27 AM
Disney is putting a stop to the junk food ads on their TV networks, radio stations and websites for kids. By 2015, the company will require any food and beverage advertising to meet government nutritional recommendations. Disney says these standards promote fruits and vegetables, limit calories and curb the intake of saturated fat, salt and sugar. A new "Mickey Check" logo has also been designed and will start showing up on food products by the end of 2012. According to the Disney Parks Blog, the Mickey Check will "be used as an icon to call out nutritious food and menu items sold in stores, online and at restaurants and food venues in our parks and resorts in the U.S. You'll start to see the icon by the end of 2012 on licensed foods products, on qualified recipes on Disney.com and Family.com and on menus and select products in Disney Parks and Resorts."

This is all part of the Disney Magic of Healthy Living Program, which is an initiative supported by U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama. The First Lady met with Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger in Washington D.C. at an event to promote the program. Disney is the first major media company to enforce such guidelines.

Iger says they hope to work with companies whose products don't currently meet the standards, so they may change their products to meet the guidelines and continue advertising with Disney.

Mrs. Obama commented, "The company's move is truly a game changer for the health of our children. Kids are exposed to $1.6 billion a year of food and beverage marketing. They are constantly bombarded with sophisticated messages designed to lure them to products that aren't always healthy for them." She hopes that other companies will follow suit with Disney and that parents will support this decision by "voting with their wallets."

Disney began making a change toward healthier options at their parks in 2006. They say that 85% of their licensed food products in the U.S. meet the nutrition guidelines and they are working to cut even more sugar and salt from the items.