June 6, 2012

The Hypocrisy of Disney

The First Wookie is applauding Disney's announcement that they will not allow "junk food" advertisements on their TV channels, radio stations and websites intended for children.
First Lady Michelle Obama called the announcement a “game changer” in a statement.
“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,” Obama said.

Disney says its guidelines are aligned with federal standards to promote the consumption of fruits and vegetables and reduce the intake of sodium, sugar and saturated fat.
Oh, the Disney guidelines.  That is where I should have been looking to figure out what to feed my kids.  GMAFB.

The initiative doesn't go into effect until 2015, due to existing advertising agreements.  (Plenty of time for an about face, pending election results).

Even if an advertised meal for a restaurant meets the golden standard of Mickey, they don't necessarily get to pay Disney to air their advertising:
The kids’ meals offered by traditional fast-food chains may not meet the new advertising guidelines, even if the meals come with healthy side orders, says Leslie Goodman, Disney’s senior vice president of corporate citizenship. That’s because Disney will be assessing the restaurant’s broader offerings in deciding whether to approve ads.
“It’s not just about reformulating a meal for a single advertising opportunity,” Goodman said. The company will have to show it offers a broader menu of healthier options, she said.
For example, a complete meal under Disney’s guidelines could have no more than 600 calories and a side dish no more than 200 calories.
Having made two trips to Disney in the past six years, myself, plus Boom returning from Disney two weeks ago, I was surprised to read this:
The latest push by Disney is an extension of the internal nutrition guidelines the company launched in 2006, with the goal of making 85 percent of the food and drinks served at its parks and resorts healthy. The remaining 15 percent was reserved for special treats, such as cake for birthday celebrations. The company also stopped using toys in kids meals to advertise its movies, Iger said.
Visitors to parks and resorts were also given the option of trading out soda and fries for low-fat milk and fruit. Disney says 60 percent of the meals served are now with those healthier options.
85% of the food at the parks and resorts are supposed to be "healthy" by when, exactly?  I could give you the run down of Boom's meals from a few weeks ago, but it is just too damn depressing to be reminded of what a teenage metabolism can withstand.  She did confirm that all of my favorites were still being served - Dole Whips, School Bread in Norway at Epcot, Fish and Chips, Kaki-gori.  This site has a great list of Disney recipes (but Tonga Toast just isn't the same without the Polynesian music and Kona coffee).  I suppose we are to ignore the "all you care to eat" character breakfasts and dinner buffets?  Not to mention the endless candy and sweets options throughout the parks and hotels.  They sell colored sugar by the tube.

Boom read the nutritional guidelines and suggested that the only way Disney is meeting their 600 and 200 calorie limits are by portion size - a third of the normal size and twice as expensive.

Dare we talk publicly about the concierge level at the resorts?  Moochelle and Iger probably don't want to mention the box of chocolates in the rooms upon arrival, the soda-filled mini fridge or the all day food service in the lounge with cookies, pastries, desert bar and endless gummy bears.

I doubt that Disney will be axing their licensing agreements that result in Disney birthday cakes, cookies, pancakes, Pez dispensers and all other manner of obesity causing items

Obviously, the other TV networks with children's programming will be laughing all the way to the bank with the advertising revenue.  Kids will still get fat, as long as their lazy ass parents continue to set a bad example and offer them crap to eat and video games to play.

1 comment:

CenTexTim said...

Disney owns ABC, and hence controls ABC News. Now Disney is sucking up to the Wookie. The quo part of a quid pro quo is lurking out there somewhere...