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Last Updated: Monday, 16 October 2006, 23:04 GMT 00:04 UK
Disney unveils healthy-eating bid
Mickey and Minnie Mouse
Disney says it will target products carrying the faces of Mickey and Minnie Mouse
Entertainment firm Walt Disney has pledged to cut calories, fat and sugar from its foods over the next two years.

Disney said it would target foods sold in its theme parks as well as licensed products carrying the faces of Mickey Mouse and other cartoon characters.

The announcement comes as Disney's 10-year deal to promote its films through McDonald's Happy Meals expires this year.

Health officials say American children are facing an epidemic of obesity.

Last month, the US Federal Communications Commission announced plans to study links between the rise of childhood obesity and the adverts shown between children's television programmes.

Meanwhile, fast food group McDonalds has been introducing healthy option by offering salads and fruits alongside its burgers after previous criticism over its menu.

'Healthy option'

"Disney will be providing healthier options for families that seek them, whether at our Parks or through our broad array of licensed foods," president and chief executive Robert Iger said.

"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."

The group added it planned to extend the healthy-eating drive "internationally" in coming years.

Under the new guidelines Disney has also pledged to cut trans-fats from meals at US amusement parks by 2007 and from licensed foods by 2008.

Such fats are the solid fats found in some processed foods which boost "bad" cholesterol levels and so lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

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