Democratic senators push for Nickelodeon to follow Disney and ban junk food ads

Four democratic senators are putting pressure on Viacom, parent company of kids TV channel Nickelodeon, to ban ads that market unhealthy foods to kids.

In a letter to Philippe Dauman, Viacom president and CEO, senators Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), asked Viacom to adopt the same health standards as Disney last year.

According to reports, the letter highlights that Disney took the "important step" of saying it would "no longer accept advertisements for unhealthy foods on television, radio, and websites directed at children," and suggested the cable network should follow suit.

The letter continued: "We applaud the initiatives that Nickelodeon has taken to promote healthy lifestyles for children, including through health and wellness messaging, but remain concerned that Nickelodeon continues to run advertisements for food and beverage products of poor nutritional quality.”

Adding: "Given Nickelodeon's commitment to fighting childhood obesity and responsibility to the youth that comprise your audience, we ask that the company promptly take similar action to implement strong nutrition standards for all of its marketing to children. We look forward to your response."

Nickelodeon defended its strategy, saying: "We leave the science of nutrition to the experts.

"No entertainment brand has worked as comprehensively and with more organizations dedicated to fighting childhood obesity over the past decade than Nickelodeon."

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