Disney Praised for Helping Kids Eat Healthier Diets
Statement of CSPI Nutrition Policy Director Margo Wootan
October 16, 2006
Few companies are as visible among families with children than Disney, so it is welcome news that the company is setting sound nutritional guidelines for the food products it helps market with its kid-friendly characters. Parents who take their kids to Disney's theme parks and resorts will benefit from the healthier choices that are being added---and for the trans fat that's being phased out. Those are important and laudable steps, and ones that should be replicated by other media companies, restaurants and food processors.
Parents have a hard enough time feeding their kids without having cartoon characters pulling the rug out from under them. Disney's new practices put it in a much more family-friendly position than its competitors, notably Nickelodeon, whose programming is filled with junk food ads and whose characters grace all kinds of junk-food packaging. Disney should take the next step and reexamine the food advertising it accepts on ABC, Toon Disney and elsewhere. Nevertheless, the steps it is taking today put Mickey Mouse head, shoulders and ears above SpongeBob SquarePants.