Disney Plans to Ban Junk Food Ads

June 29, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. air (v.) 
– to make a program available to the public through the television or radio
Example: Disney channel airs cartoons for young children.

2. junk food (n.) [juhngk food] – a kind of food that is unhealthy
Example: French fries, hamburgers and pizzas are examples of junk food.

3. publicize (v.) [puhb-luh-sahyz] – to announce information to the public
Example: The bad effects of obesity were publicized by the World Health Organization.
Additional info: The words ‘promote’ and ‘broadcast’ have similar meanings.

4. prohibition (n.) [proh-uh-bish-uhn] – the act of banning something
Example: A lot of people protested against the prohibition of smoking.

5. calculated move (n.) [kal-kyuh-ley-tid moov] – a carefully planned action
Example: Speculators think that the release of the new Ipad was a calculated move by Apple.

Read the text below.

Walt Disney Co. announced that they will not air advertisements of junk food in the channels dedicated to children starting three years from now.

Robert Iger, the CEO of Walt Disney Co., publicized that these changes in their advertisement policies will be applicable to all the Disney websites for kids.  The announcement was made when Iger met with Michelle Obama who recently launched a campaign against obesity.

Based on the guidelines Disney has provided, children’s meals which contain too much sugar, salt and other fattening ingredients may not be shown during Disney programs. As a result, McDonald’s Happy Meal and Kellogg’s Fruit Loops cereals will not be able to advertise on Disney channels. 

However, the prohibition of junk food ads will not be implemented on adult-oriented Disney networks, such as ESPN or ABC. Junk food ads on these channels generate most of the profit for the company.

Iger mentioned that the ban is Disney’s way to show support to the parents who are concerned about their children’s health. In addition to that, disallowing the ads was a calculated move because it would be able to attract new markets to Disney and endear them to families all over the world.

According to a government survey, an estimated $1.6 billion of food and drink advertisements are shown every year in the US, and most of these ads feature unhealthy food.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         How will Disney be affected if they ban junk food ads?
·         Will the demand for unhealthy food decrease if there are fewer ads about them? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         Do you think that children will eat less junk food if they watch advertisements on healthy food?
·         What other ways can be used to encourage children to eat healthy food?


June 29, 2012