Slap a Mickey on that Banana

Last month the Associated Press reported that Disney was licensing its characters to farmers to help them market fresh produce to children; part of an initiative to improve childhood nutrition. Disney’s head of food products licensing had this comment:
"We're doing it predominantly because it is the right thing to do, but secondarily because it is the right business to be in," said Harry Dollman, head of food products licensing for Disney.

"Concerns about the right nutrition for kids is not a fad; it's not something that will be overtaken by another trend," he said.
Today The Los Angeles Times has a nice follow story that provides more details on the move. Times staff writer Joseph Menn explains Disney has tightened guidelines for which foods Mickey Mouse and the gang will populate:
In its licensing deals, which reach more consumers, by 2009 Disney will limit portion sizes and in most cases refuse to tie its brand to foods that get more than 30% of their calories from fat, more than 10% from saturated fat or more than 10% from added sugar. Exceptions will be reduced to 15% of Disney-related foods by 2010.
Menn’s article also points out that Disney failed to renew a 10-year, $1-billion promotional pact with the McDonald's Corporation. Disney felt a relationship with McDonald’s would be difficult to justify as the corporation made stronger inroads in the fight to prevent childhood obesity.

Like yesterday’s post Get Crafty With Your Veggies, I don’t think Dr. Fuhrman would be hip with everything Disney is up to. After all, according to Menn’s report, Disney would still allow their characters to endorse refined foods like Cheerios and Rice Krispies (and 30% of calories from fat is a lot) but, once again, it’s a start!
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