The Walt Disney Company today launched Disney Magic of Healthy Living — a national multimedia initiative designed to partner with parents in their quest to raise healthy, happy kids. The initiative, which includes public service announcements featuring First Lady Michelle Obama and young Disney stars, builds on the Company’s commitment to a healthier generation of kids begun in 2006 with the announcement of landmark nutritional guidelines associating Disney brands and characters with a more nutritionally balanced range of foods.
Disney Magic of Healthy Living takes that commitment to the next level enlisting many of the Company’s assets and platforms to inspire kids and help reinforce the work of parents. New content showcases fun, easy ways that healthy living practices can be woven into the fabric of everyday life.
“We are very proud to take the next step in our long-term commitment to helping families achieve healthier lifestyles, and are especially gratified to work with the First Lady on the Let’s Move! campaign,” said Disney President and CEO Bob Iger. “The health of our kids is critically important and we are pleased to be doing our part to encourage smart eating and exercise.”
“I am thrilled to join Disney’s Magic of Healthy Living effort and support the work these young people are doing to reach out to their peers and communicate this powerful message,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “Earlier this year, I launched Let’s Move! with the goal of reducing childhood obesity rates in a generation, and through this Disney program, we are able to carry that goal directly to kids — the key stakeholders in this effort. I hope through programs like the Magic of Healthy Living, young people are inspired to take control of their own health, fitness and nutrition and engage their families, schools and communities to do the same.”
Highlights of Disney Magic of Healthy Living include:
- A year-long series of inspirational television public service announcements featuring Mrs. Obama and Disney Channel stars including Nick Jonas (“JONAS L.A.” and “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam”) and Brenda Song (“The Suite Life On Deck” and “Pass the Plate”) among others. The PSAs will be presented daily on Disney Channel, Disney XD, Radio Disney and Disney.com. They will also be featured on ABC in addition to being distributed through the Ad Council’s network of 1,700 broadcast, network, and local cable stations for use in donated media.¹
- Two new web sites from Disney: one to engage and activate kids about healthy living (Disney.com/healthyfun) and another to provide ideas and resources for parents (Family.com/healthymagic).
- A national essay contest calling on kids to write about ideas for living a healthy life at home, at school or in their communities. The contest will open for entries next month and will culminate in a special Disney Magic of Healthy Living — The Weekend event at Walt Disney World Resort for 50 winners from across the U.S. For more information, visit Disney.com/healthyfun.
- A $1 million grant from Disney will help to build play spaces and gardens in 10 underserved communities nationwide. Disney will be working closely with KaBOOM!, a renowned non-profit organization whose vision it is to have a great place to play within walking distance of every child.
“The Magic of Healthy Living is a great example of putting behavioral research into action to inspire children and families to make small, incremental lifestyle changes to improve their health and well-being,” said Dr. James O. Hill, Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine and Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado. “With this initiative, Disney has shown commitment to the health of our children. And best of all, who better than Disney to make it fun!”
“Through the Magic of Healthy Living, Disney continues building on the leadership of its landmark nutrition guidelines by illustrating how national health goals can be translated into simple and fun activities that can be embraced for a lifetime,” said Dr. Keith Ayoob, Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “The program celebrates Disney’s ongoing commitment to helping parents and children truly enjoy healthy living by offering them a wide variety of activities and tools, empowering them to find those that work best for their family. That’s the best way to make a healthy lifestyle last forever.”
Since 2006, Disney’s nutritional guidelines have been implemented across all Disney-branded businesses. Company progress to date includes:
- A growing portfolio of “better for you” Disney-branded foods at grocery retailers including more than 1.3 billion servings of fruits and vegetables sold in the United States alone.
- Embedded healthy lifestyle themes in Disney Channel and Disney XD programming (available in 99 million and 77 million homes respectively across the U.S. and to millions of viewers on Disney Channels around the world).
- Healthier food options to choose from in Disney parks including fruits for snacking, the elimination of added trans fats² and healthier default sides and beverages that families opt for in nearly 60% of kids’ meals.
In addition to working with First Lady Michelle Obama in support of her Let’s Move! initiative, Disney consulted with leaders in the fields of nutrition, health care and fitness to help develop Disney Magic of Healthy Living. These include: The Advertising Council, The Institute of Medicine and Produce for Better Health Foundation. Dr. Keith Ayoob and Dr. James O. Hill, top child health and wellness specialists that helped develop Disney’s 2006 Food Guidelines, were also consulted.
¹ The Ad Council’s portion of the TV PSAs are co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and direct audiences to visit LetsMove.gov to learn more.
² Where comparable products exist in the marketplace and pre-existing contracts notwithstanding.
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