Published on Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Disney develops appetite for healthy food

The Walt Disney World Company announced it will change the foods served in its US theme parks in Florida and California to provide healthier alternatives to fried foods and soda.

The company said it would reduce calories, fats and sugar in its new food offerings. It said it would eliminate trans-fats foods by the end of next year.

Disney said it would gradually eliminate all licensed food products bearing its name or characters that do not meet health guidelines on calories and other criteria.

Starting this month, theme park kids’ meals will be served with low-fat milk, 100% fruit juice or water.

Instead of French fries, apple sauce or carrots will be substituted.

The new guidelines will be adapted internationally over the next several years, the company said.

“Disney is synonymous with fun and can play an important role in getting kids to consume a more balanced diet,” said Keith Thomas Ayoob, an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine who helped prepare Disney’s new guidelines.

“The Disney brand and characters are in a unique position to market food that kids will want and parents will feel good about giving them,” said Disney President and CEO Robert Iger.

Report by David Wilkening

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