Disney Bans Junk Food Ads To Kids – Will Others Follow Suit?

In a world that constantly filled with bad news, its a pleasant surprise to wake up and find that something wonderful has happened. Disney Corporation taken a stand and voluntarily done the right thing by banning the advertising of junk food to kids. With relentless pressure from stockholders to maximize ad revenues and profits, it takes a lot of courage for a company to stand up for its core values and I applaud Disney for blazing this trail. Hopefully others will take Disney’s lead and follow suit.

Its quite funny that just last week I wrote an article on solving obesity in America and my number 2 suggestion was to ban the advertising of junk food to kids. I had no idea that a company as large and influential as Disney might consider doing this voluntarily!

My guess is that fifty years from now that we will look back on 2012 as the year that the trend of ever increasing obesity was stopped, kind of a bold prediction but here is why I am optimistic. The lack of education on the subject of nutrition is one of the main reasons we have an obesity problem and never in my life have I seen so many right things being done on the educational front. Mayor Bloomberg started a national dialog about the problem of sugary beverages with his proposed soda ban. Now Disney is stopping the advertisement of junk food to minors. This might seem like a minor thing to some people but its huge. In a country where we can barely teach our kids reading, writing, and arithmetic we have had to cut other types of curriculum to the bone – health education and physical education has suffered. Since schools are not teaching kids about good nutrition and most of their parents were not taught either, the television fills the educational gap. Nutritional habits are formed very early in life and so by removing the junk food advertisements from kids TV, we can get a new generation off to a good start – without being addicted to sweets.

2012 has been an amazing year for health advocacy. We still have a long way to go to fight obesity though, education is the best place to start. Nutrition classes in school and national ad campaigns on good nutrition. The other part of the obesity equation is to get people to be more active. We can start by insuring that all kids have access to supervised after school sports programs. Most important though is to stop equating automobiles and transportation. Transportation is biking, walking, and public transportation. As soon as we stop using the words transportation and car as synonyms, we will distribute our transportation infrastructure dollars differently. Rather than viewing bike paths and sidewalks as optional recreational expenditures and luxuries we can’t afford, we will realize that they are a very important part of our transportation infrastructure.

Ban Ads On Junk Food

36 thoughts on “Disney Bans Junk Food Ads To Kids – Will Others Follow Suit?”

  1. I like your bold prediction and I feel people like you have a role to play in making it a reality!

    It’s a shame that MacDonalds is one of the main sponsors of the olympic games and has been for the last 40 years. It can be hard to justify to a child why, while they are learning about health and fitness at home and at school.

  2. Manuel De Oliveira Fernandes

    Well, i live in Germany and when you look at the advertisments in the television during the day or mainly while primetime, ever single ad-block has at least one MC Dollards ad, or one Burger Kong ad involved.Or Coco Cola. (u know what i mean)
    And everytime I watch it, i can catch myself thinking of ” Hey, that looks delicous ”
    In Germany Cigarette Advertisment in the television is vorbidden.
    But if i look at some 60 KG 8 year old kids @ the drive in with their parents,
    i want to say to that parent, “HEY! why not give them some wodka and a good smoke, too”

    Vorbidding by law is very complicated,…but not totaly impossible

  3. I know this is kinda dark and morbid, but please don’t take this wrong Scooby (this article made me think of this). I hope to out-live you so I can see what you die from lol. Some freak accident or natural causes. I absolutely love the site. And I find that I am printing out your blurbs to read rather than sit in front of the screen and read it. I hope at some point I get to meet you face to face and thank you personally for the wedge of healthy living you provide to myself and others. I have tried very hard to pass this along to the soldiers in my unit. (Lets say the Army is NOT receptive to new old ideas…lol) But until then, Thank you Sir. You are a gentleman, a scholar, and health nut :p

  4. Disney is certainly not altruistic (revenue of $40.893 billion 2011!). It has to boil down to profit somewhere, e.g., tax breaks, viewer statistics (stay ahead of the parental curve), public appeal/trust, something.

    Banning junk food ads may be right but most likely it is for the wrong reasons. The problem with doing it for the wrong reasons is that it will only last as long as it pays off.

  5. Perhaps Disney can give those kids who only visit once a year a 16oz Coca Cola as a reward. After all, it does taste great.

    There won’t be any need to inform them about the chemicals in the drink, especially those that are known, and proven to cause cancer.

    It is only once a year, so what does it matter if it is cancerous?

    If that sounds rather silly, it is meant to be.

    I would be quite confidant, that when Disney say they are “banning the advertising of junk food to kids. ” they will stand by their word and ban ALL junk food advertising, and won’t be slipping in the occasional promotion of a soda saying how tasty it is, and that once a year won’t hurt.

    Well done Disney.

    1. Scooby_Werkstatt

      I know that as a cancer survivor you are very focused on things you think are cancer causing but your strict attitude toward nutrition is about as helpful as teaching abstinence as a method of birth control. Early on here on my website I was criticized, and rightly so, for being to strict about nutrition. When most people try to be strict it results in eating disorders, binging, or other problems. This is exactly why I toned down my nutrition page from what it was earlier. I would rather make nutritional suggestions that are healthy and achievable by 95% of the population than make very strict nutritional suggestions which are extremely healthy but achievable by only 5% of the population. Eating more vegetables is easy. Eating more whole grains is easy. Eating more unprocessed foods is easy. Reducing the amount of junk food and fast food is easy. Eating your calories instead of drinking them is easy. Total abstinence from bad foods is NOT easy for 95% of the population. Moderation is far more successful than abstinence. As I have mentioned many times before, I have an incredible sweet tooth and if left unchecked I would be clinically obese. I control it by making sure that I dont have access to anything sweet in the house. I have no self control when it comes to sweets so I use restricted availablity to successfully control my sugar consumption. Am I perfect, of course not. As a part of a cheat meal I will have all kinds of things that are not healthy: candy bars, cake, cookies, fast food, alcohol, etc. And yes, I drank coke for one entire day for my colonoscopy prep when I could have had apple juice. If you are seeking a perfect role model then look elsewhere because I am not it.

      1. Well done Scooby,

        A great post, that even I can give a “thumbs up.”

        I don’t think you realize how much I agree with your concepts, it is just the contradictions I have trouble with.

        Your Home Fitness and Body Building Workouts are second to none, and I have said that on several occasions.

        So, I will just give up on posting my comments as an alternative viewpoint isn’t really what is wanted here.

        Keep doing what you are doing Scooby, and thank you for your contribution to the health of a nation.


      2. …which is exactly why you ARE a good role model for many! The goal here is to find a good balance between a healthy lifestyle and plain old FUN. Personally, I find it great fun to grill and consume large amounts of meat- if I do it twice a week, I get fat. Lucky me, I also find it fun to have a great body and nice abs. WORK HARD, PLAY HARD…

    2. great idea! free soda! i love it! i hardly drink soda so that would be AWESOME to get a free drink at disney! i cost like 100$ to get in so i better get something free! and i do like soda! weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  6. there must be money in it. Disney wouldn’t do it otherwise. They’re have market tested the sh*t out of this. I’m happier there’s plainly more money in health than crap. who’d have thunk?

    1. Scooby_Werkstatt

      I’m sure that Disney’s board of directors fought long and hard about this one. I’m guessing that what they decided in the end was that this decision, although probably a net negative to this quarters profits was in the best long term interest of the company. Here is a best case scenario for the future. Disney gets lots of good press, Nickelodeon and other networks with kids programming start to feel the social pressure to follow in Disney’s footsteps. General Foods and others in the kids food space see that in order to keep their profits from kids foods up, they need to have healthier options – drop the cereal “Sugar Coated Chocolate Bombs” and replace it with “100% Whole Wheat Nuggets”. Market forces prevail! Lets cross our fingers that this actually happens :)

  7. Scooby, you’re the eternal optimist I’ve got to give you that much…

    Is that a picture of you stuffing your face with chips ? DOH !!!

    Guess that colonoscopy did some brain damage, geez

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