The Walt Disney Company, in an effort to address concerns about entertainment’s role in childhood obesity, plans to announce on Tuesday that all products advertised on its child-focused television channels, radio stations and Web sites must comply with a strict new set of nutritional standards.
In an era where corporations are throwing money to buy influence in ways that harm our children, it is so refreshing to see that a wealthy corporation, for once, is doing the right thing. And make no mistake, the fast food corporations and big businesses ARE targeting our children.
The big chains like McDonald’s have been aggressively and specifically targeting children for decades. When Ray Kroc first started expanding the McDonald’s chain, he would hop in a Cessna and fly around looking for prime real estate as close to schools as possible. Today they use satellite technology to locate the same type of properties. These companies are literally stalking our children. They’ve even found ways to get inside schools nd be part of the public school lunch menus.
–from Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children by Ann Cooper and Lisa M. Holmes, pp. xv-xvi
I’ve had my issues with Disney in the past, and I’ll probably have some issues in the future, but this is a good thing. If you have time, take some time to send them a letter of appreciation. Maybe contact the CEO directly:
Robert A. Iger,
President and CEO of the Walt Disney Company
500 S. Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521
Again, I can’t express how important it is for a big company like Disney to take a stand. They’ve partnered with Michelle Obama too. I listen to conservative radio sometimes, and I hear how the pundits attack Michelle Obama, accusing her of overstepping by trying to advocate healthy diets, saying that no one wants it. Well, guess what? Disney wants it!
Robert A. Iger, Disney’s chairman, said he felt strongly that “companies in a position to help with solutions to childhood obesity should do just that,” but added: “This is not altruistic. This is about smart business.”
Smart business or not, they ought to be commended for doing the right thing.