Thursday, June 14, 2012

Guest Blog: Healthy Cookie

Disney On a Diet?

No, don't worry, Mickey Mouse isn't going to be slimmer the next time you see him on TV or at one of his parks. But the Walt Disney Company is taking steps toward fighting obesity, recently announcing new standards for food advertising on programming targeting kids and family. First Lady Michelle Obama has launched the "Let's Move" campaign, which is "dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams" (find out more here).While her campaign has reached children and parents all across the country, Disney's partnership will only expand her success.

Disney's initiative, which Michelle Obama calls a "game changer," is aimed to take the allure away from junk food and encourage healthy eating. By banning ads for junk food, not only will they be scratching commercials for candy bars, hamburgers, and French fries, but also high-sugar drinks such as Capri Sun and high-sodium meals such as Lunchables. The rules will also mean no air time for foods with more than 10 grams of sugar per serving, and no advertising for kids' meals that are over 600 calories.

This new rule will apply to Disney XD, Saturday-morning programming on Disney-owned ABC stations, Radio Disney, and Disney-owned web sites targeted towards young children. CEO Bob Iger said that even though they may suffer from a loss of advertising revenue in the beginning, he is hopeful advertisers will adjust to the same.

Even though this change is not set to take effect until 2015, I am very excited and optimistic about this new push. Everyone has seen (or even been a victim of) the screaming child at the grocery store who will not be quiet until they are allowed to buy a box of the new sparkly, sugary marshmellow cereal. And why do they want it? Because they saw a tempting commercial for it. Advertisers know how impressionable children are; I was a kid once, and I was definitely swayed into begging my mom to buy the cereal and snacks I saw while watching my favorite cartoon. Children watch even more TV now, and if a commercial says the latest flavor of candy will make them have a great time, they have to have it.

This way, my hope is that not only will the temptation be taken away from children, but advertisers will follow the path of the "Let's Move" initiative and find a way to make healthy food and exercise seem appealing. So, thank you Disney. Let's hope Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network are right behind you!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the interesting and uplifting blog, Cookie. Well done!
    John Redmann