June 6th, 2012
Nutrition Push May Be a Little Better for Kids, Great for Disney
By Danielle Kurtzleben
"With this new initiative, Disney is doing what no major media company has ever done before in the U.S.--and what I hope every company will do going forward.”
That is Michelle Obama’s view on Disney’s new guidelines to curb junk food advertising. It’s publicity that money can’t buy—the First Lady simultaneously heralding your company as a leader in its field and inviting other companies to follow suit. The decision clearly comes with political heft behind it, but how meaningful of a change the company is making remains in question.
Under the new guidelines, all food and beverages advertised, sponsored, or promoted on outlets including the Disney Channel, Radio Disney, and Disney websites will have to conform to limits on areas like caloric, sodium, and sugar content.
“We’ve been looking at the Disney criteria they’re using, and they’re a little bit better than the criteria that the food industry already uses, but they’re not great. So by no means will this limit children’s exposure to junk food,” says Jennifer Harris, director of marketing initiatives at Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.