June 6 2012

Disney on ICEEs

Lori Drummer

The country’s childhood obesity problem is directly related to childhood inactivity -- it does not stem from “junk food” advertising.  Want to make a dent in the obesity problem?  Don’t ban food commercials on Disney – ban kids from watching Disney!

Exercise should be a part of a child’s daily routine.  Kids should be outdoors, riding bikes, building forts, playing tag, and running around.  They should be encouraged to watch as little television as possible, and video game time, when children are plopped down on the floor, numbly surfing through repetitive puzzles, should be the exception and not the rule. 

Disney’s advertising policies do not replace parental involvement and oversight.  Parents, not an ad exec, should oversee what their children are eating.  When I was young, I loved – and I mean loved – Little Debbie Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies.  I could have eaten a box in an afternoon.  My mom only allowed me to eat one per day, and I was limited to a total of four per week.  I assure you that only my mother’s rules could have kept me from sneaking those cookies.  No advertising strategy in the world would have duped me into not coveting those yummy, moist cookies with the sugary, soft icing in the middle. 

Another reason this policy will not affect childhood obesity is because the banned “junk food” advertising will not be replaced with “healthy food” advertising.  It costs hundreds of thousands of dollars – if not millions – to publicize on a Disney platform.  Do you think that Johnny’s Apple Orchard has a cool million hanging around to advertise on the Suite Life of Zack and Cody?

Disney’s ban on “junk food” advertizing aims to feed a liberal PR line and does nothing to advance healthy decisions among young people. 

Want to help kids eat healthy food, Disney?  Stop selling homemade Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies at your theme parks!

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