Disney networks to ban junk-food ads

Companies selling to the Mickey Mouse Club set will soon have to play by new rules as the Walt Disney Company joins efforts to combat childhood obesity, the New York Times reports.

U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama will be with the Walt Disney Company at a presser Tuesday when it announces nutritional restrictions for products advertised to children under 12 on Disney channels — including Disney-owned ABC stations that show Saturday-morning cartoons.

Brooks Barnes of the Times explains: “Under the new rules, products like Capri Sun drinks and Kraft Lunchables meals — both current Disney advertisers — along with a wide range of candy, sugared cereal and fast food, will no longer be acceptable advertising material.”

“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,” Mrs. Obama said in a statement.

Disney is also expected to announce plans to cut the sodium in the 12 million children’s meals it serves at its theme parks. And it will unveil the “Mickey Check,” a label — “Good for you, fun too! — that will identify products in grocery aisles that meet Disney’s nutritional standards.

Guidelines will take effect in 2015.