WASHINGTON—Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions applauded the Walt Disney Company for updating its nutritional standards and for announcing new guidelines ensuring that junk food won’t be advertised on Disney’s kid-targeted TV programming and websites:
“I welcome Disney’s new efforts to combat childhood obesity and commend them on this important progress. As a media company with a presence in millions of American households – not to mention their parks and resorts visited by millions of kids every year – Disney can play an important role in helping children make healthier choices about their food, and the new advertising standards and updated nutrition guidelines they announced today are a great step in the right direction. More needs to be done, however, and I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress, at Walt Disney, and other companies to fight the childhood obesity epidemic and help kids develop healthy eating and exercise habits for life.”
Harkin has long been an advocate for strategies to reduce childhood obesity and its related diseases, including Type II Diabetes. He and former Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) formed a Federal Communications Commission Task Force on Media and Childhood Obesity, and the Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children, which has proposed voluntary principles for companies to follow to combat childhood obesity. Harkin has also fought for improved nutrition in school lunch programs, more physical education in schools, and menu labeling at chain restaurants to help families make healthy choices.