There are a few benefits to living in the Washington DC area, including (but certainly not limited to) exclusive invitations to breakfast press conferences with Disney’s CEO Robert Iger and First Lady Michelle Obama. Yeah, I don’t want to brag too much…but that might have been the best breakfast invitation ever.
If you know anything about the Walt Disney company, you know that everything they do is done beautifully. I showed up at the Newseum on Tuesday morning to a conference room teeming with press. My camera was feeling mighty small. The tables were loaded with a colorful assortment of healthy foods, and Mickey himself was mixing up fruit smoothies with Disney Parks Chef Gary Jones and Chef Tom Blundell of Wolfgang Puck.
We mingled for a while before being seated, and soon were listening to Disney’s Chairman and CEO, Bob Iger, explain the new standards that the Walt Disney Company has set for food advertising to kids.
Disney’s Magic of Healthy Living
As of yesterday, June 5, 2012, The Walt Disney Company became the first major media company to introduce new standards for food advertising programming targeting kids and families. Under these new standards, all food and beverage products advertised, sponsored, or promoted on the Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, Radio Disney, and Disney online destinations targeted to families will be required to meet new guidelines promoting fruit and vegetable consumption and limiting calories, saturated fats, sodium, and sugar.
Robert Iger said, “We’ve taken steps across our company to support better choices for families, and now we’re taking the next important step forward by setting new food advertising standards for kids. The emotional connection kids have to our characters and stories gives us a unique opportunity to continue to inspire and encourage them to lead healthier lives.”
As a parent myself, I can attest to kids’ attraction to products that feature their favorite characters. I love the fact that Disney is using their influence to encourage young children to chose better, more nutritious food options.
Meeting First Lady Michelle Obama
Truthfully, I didn’t really meet the First Lady, but I was able to sit just a table away from her as she spoke, just like any other mom talking about something important to her family and kids.
Regarding Disney’s new initiative, First Lady Michelle Obama said, “This new initiative is truly a game changer for the health of our children. This is a major American company – a global brand – that is literally changing the way it does business so that our kids can lead healthier lives. With the 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. When it comes to the ads they show and the food they sell, they are asking themselves one simple question: ‘Is it good for our kids?'”
Please forgive the shakiness of the video. I had no tripod and I had to hold my heavy camera above some heads…
After Mrs. Obama was finished speaking, we had an open panel discussion about everything from food allergy-friendly food options at Disney parks to the availability of healthy Disney-branded foods in stores. I left feeling empowered and inspired to feed my kids more fresh and nutritious snacks and meals at home and on the go.
But of course, I couldn’t leave the press conference without getting my picture taken with Mickey…
Disclosure: I was invited by Disney to attend this press conference and breakfast, where I was fed wonderfully tasty and healthy food. I was not compensated in any way for this post…unless you count the bragging rights.
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