Home » US First Lady and Disney’s Effort to reduce childhood obesity an eye opener for parents

US First Lady and Disney’s Effort to reduce childhood obesity an eye opener for parents

The menace of obesity in growing kids has made governments in developed countries on their toes. The number of Obese kids in the USA has grown rapidly over last two decades, making medical watchdogs alert. While childhood obesity can be triggered by heredity related factors, in many cases it happens owing to lack of exercise and dependence on junk and fast food. The worse thing is parents of obese kids often fail to guide them in adopting healthy habits to lose excess weight. They fail to implement healthy eating and living standards.

Michelle Obama, the first lady of the USA has always been vocal about the need to focus on battling childhood obesity. She has been vocal about the need to discard lifestyle habits and foods that can lead to this health menace. The venerable lady has joined hands with Walt Disney Co, a behemoth in children entertainment to combat the growing menace of childhood obesity.

In a recent development, Disney has made it clear that it will not show advertisements promoting junk and high calorie foods in its programs. This can really go a long way in battling obesity in kids as a lot of children get influenced by advertisements of cola, fast food and high calorie eatables shown in commercials in entertainment channels. These advertisements also affect the buying decision of their parents. Disney has said that its website and TV channels will henceforth broadcast advertisements of foods that meet nutrition parameters. The company also said in a recent announcement that its health parameters are complaint with federal standards.

This effort from kid’s entertainment giant has got a thumb up from Michelle Obama, the US first lady. She said in her statement recently that Disney has done which no other media entity in the USA has done so far and it is time others follow the lead. However, owing to prevalent advertising agreements new guidelines cannot be put into action till 2015.

Disneys’ reach to people cannot be questioned as with its popular TV channels like Disney Junior, Disney XD and Radio Disney it reaches out to several million households in and outside the USA every day. Health experts have also lauded this move and they expect this development will affect other large scale media entities to revise their advertisement rules. Robert Iger, the CEO and chairman of Disney said in his statement that the company is committed to set unprecedented food advertising standards aimed at kids through its network.

This move comes at a time when health entities and nutrition watchdogs are coming down heavily on manufacturers of fast food and high calorie drinks. Michael Bloomberg, New York mayor announced his plans to limit soda dispensing in the city previous week. Advertisement of junk food and drinks affect both adult and kids adversely. Their eating habits get affected by these ads with alluring, tasty yet high calorie products. Steps like this may help millions of people in adopting healthy eating habits for themselves and their children.

It is important that parents of kids who are obese should implement healthy eating habits in family. It would be a good idea to make snacks at home and include healthy and low fat ingredients in them. They can offer their obese kids healthy sandwiches, salads, smoothies and fruit juices instead of aerated drinks and high calorie snacks like burger and hot dog. Switching to organic and fresh produce instead of using packed and canned variants can yield good results in shedding excess flab for both kids and adults. Using low fat oils and condiments in cooking can also be helpful in this context.

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