AUGUST 17, 2007 - CARTOON NETWORK JOINS FIGHT AGAINST CHILDHOOD OBESITY

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, responded today to news that Time Warner’s Cartoon Network will restrict use of their licensed characters on packaging of unhealthy foods. The Cartoon Network decision follows on similar announcements by Nickelodeon and Discovery Kids earlier this week. Rep. Markey, the primary House author of the 1990 Children’s Television Act, called attention to the impact of junk food marketing on childhood obesity by chairing a hearing in June on “Images Kids See on the Screen.”

Rep. Markey said, “I want to commend the Cartoon Network for taking this positive step forward today. The childhood obesity epidemic is a pressing public health issue, one that in my view requires concerted action by entities in the food and beverage industry, as well as by media companies providing children's television fare. Children’s television should ideally be an environment for learning and education, not a vehicle for promoting unhealthy dietary choices through marketing to young kids.

“By voluntarily taking action today to restrict, in certain circumstances, the commercial licensing of its popular children’s TV characters to foods that meet certain nutritional standards, the Cartoon Network is recognizing its responsibility to being part of the solution in addressing the childhood obesity epidemic. I look forward to reviewing the details of today’s commitment by the Cartoon Network and its future implementation. I am also eager to continue working with the Cartoon Network, other industry participants, medical and children's health advocates, on this and other children’s television initiatives in the coming weeks and months.”

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 17, 2007

CONTACT: Jessica Schafer, 202.225.2836