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Disney US sets new standards for food advertising on its channels

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MUMBAI: Building on its nutrition guidelines established in 2006, Disney has become the first major media company in the US to introduce new standards for food advertising on programming targeting kids and families.

This undertaking marks the latest step in Disney‘s partnership with parents to inspire kids to lead healthier lifestyles. Under Disney‘s new standards, all food and beverage products advertised, sponsored, or promoted on Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, Radio Disney, and Disney-owned online destinations oriented to families with younger children, will be required to meet Disney‘s nutrition guidelines.

The nutrition guidelines are aligned to federal standards, promote fruit and vegetable consumption and call for limiting calories and reducing saturated fat, sodium, and sugar.

Disney chairman, CEO Robert A Iger said, "We‘re proud of the impact we‘ve had over the last six years. We‘ve taken steps across our company to support better choices for families, and now we‘re taking the next important step forward by setting new food advertising standards for kids. The emotional connection kids have to our characters and stories gives us a unique opportunity to continue to inspire and encourage them to lead healthier lives."

Disney adds that since 2006, when it became the first major media company to establish nutrition guidelines, the company has combined its storytelling, characters, and reach to make healthier lifestyles for families more appealing and more fun. Disney‘s unmatched efforts have received critical acclaim and recognition from moms, nutrition experts, and federal regulators.

US First Lady Michelle Obama said, "This new initiative is truly a game changer for the health of our children. This is a major American company - a global brand - that is literally changing the way it does business so that our kids can lead healthier lives. 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. When it comes to the ads they show and the food they sell, they are asking themselves one simple question: ‘Is this good for our kids?‘"

In addition to its new advertising standards, Disney has introduced the "Mickey Check" tool, an icon that calls out nutritious food and menu items sold in stores, online, and at restaurants and food venues at its US Parks and Resorts. By the end of 2012 the "Mickey Check" will appear on licensed foods products, on qualified recipes on Disney.com and Family.com, and on menus and select products at Disney‘s Parks and Resorts.

Disney‘s 2006 nutrition policy stipulated that promotions aimed at children 12 years old and under -- most notably for films -- would meet specific guidelines. Since then, Disney kid-targeted film promotional campaigns feature only healthier food and beverage products.

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