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Disney, Michelle Obama team up to fight childhood obesity

June 5, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
First lady Michelle Obama and the Walt Disney Co. have joined forces to help fight childhood obesity.

Disney announced Tuesday it plans to ban advertisements sponsored by junk food and instead only allow healthier food advertisements on its television channels, radio station and website. That means all programming will have to meet the company's nutrition criteria for limiting calories and reducing saturated fat, sodium and sugar. Disney says its guidelines are aligned with federal standards.

Leading the nation in fighting childhood obesity, Michelle Obama applauded the effort for being the front runner.

"Disney is doing what no major media company has ever done before in the United States, and what I hope every company will do going forward. When it comes to the ads they show and the food they sell, they're asking themselves one simple question: 'Is this good for our kids?'" the first lady said.

The guidelines won't go into effect until 2015 because of existing advertising agreements.

"Parents tell us they need our support, and we're listening because the better we meet the needs and expectations of families, the brighter our future looks," said Bob Iger, Walt Disney Co. chairman and CEO.

Disney's promotion of healthier eating is something health advocate groups stand behind.

"Disney's announcement is going to put a lot of pressure on Nickelodeon, the Cartoon Network and other big media companies," said Margo Wootan, nutrition policy director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Disney is the parent company of ABC7.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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