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Today the First Lady Announces Disney’s Healthy Food Marketing Standards

Today, the First Lady joined the Walt Disney Company to announce a big win for America’s families: Disney has become the first major media company to introduce new standards for food advertising and programming targeting kids and families. All of foods marketed on Disney’s television and radio channels will be required to meet Disney’s nutrition guidelines – which align with federal standards to promote fruit and vegetables and limit calories, sugar, sodium, and saturated fat – by 2015.

 “This new initiative is truly a game changer for the health of our children,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “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?’” You can read her full remarks here.

The First Lady has championed these issues since launching the Let’s Move! initiative, and she has specifically called upon the business community to innovate changes in advertising to marketing healthy foods and habits to children. You can read her challenge to the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association in 2010. Currently, American children see an estimated $1.6 billion a year worth of food and beverage marketing, and many of those ads are foods that are high in calories and sugar, but low in nutrition.

First Lady Michelle Obama joins The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Robert A. (Bob) Iger to announce significant advancement of Disney’s existing nutrition guidelines policy, at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. June 5, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Through Disney’s Magic of Healthy Living, new tools will be available to parents to inspire kids and families to lead healthier lifestyles. Disney developed nutrition guidelines in 2006 and has since continued to innovate fun ways of engaging families in healthier lifestyle choices through its characters and programming.

Marissa Duswalt is Associate Director for Policy and Events of the Lets Move! Initiative.