FTC Chair Praises Disney for Food Marketing Move

Leibowitz says Disney demonstrates its leadership in combatting childhood obesity
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Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz applauded Disney Tuesday for its announcement of new nutrition guidelines for food marketing to kids.

"Regardless of the cause of the childhood obesity epidemic, all of us need to be a part of the solution," said Leibowitz, who has encouraged industry self-regulation. "Since 2005, the Federal Trade Commission has called on the media to take a more active role in promoting healthier food choices for our children. With its announcement today, Disney demonstrates that it continues to be a leader among media companies in the effort to combat childhood obesity. We hope that other media companies will follow Disney's example."

An interagency government advisory group recommended tough but voluntary food marketing guidelines to kids and teens in April 2011, and the Federal Trade Commission put them out for comment. Those got some major pushback, however, and that effort stalled.

At the time, Leibowitz pointed out that "some of the leading companies are already reformulating products and rethinking marketing strategies to promote healthier foods to kids."

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