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Media giant Walt Disney to ban junk food ads

June 11, 2012
"Just a few years ago if you had told me or any other mom or dad in America that our kids wouldn't see a single ad for junk food while they watched their favourite cartoons on a major TV network, we wouldn't have believed you,"
- US First Lady Michelle Obama

US media giant Walt Disney has said it will ban junk food ads on its TV, radio and online programmes.

The firm, which also runs famous theme parks, said it was setting new nutrition standards to tackle America's growing problem of child obesity.

US First Lady Michelle Obama described the initiative as a "game changer".

However, the new rules will not come into effect until 2015, and much will depend on how Disney defines junk food, correspondents say.

Makers of junk food and sugary drinks spend about $1bn (£650m) a year on commercials directed at children under 12 years.

Scepticism
Disney said that any cereals with 10 grams or more of sugar per serving or a full meal with more than 600 calories would not be advertised.

Sugary drinks and high sodium products would also be off the air, the company said.


Michelle Obama said Disney was changing its business model to tackle obesity
CEO Bob Iger acknowledged there might be a short-term dip in advertising revenue, but added that the company would adjust and create new products that meet standards.

Mrs Obama, an active campaigner to curb child obesity, welcomed the plan.

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