LOS ANGELES - The Walt Disney Co. will begin serving more nutritionally balanced meals at its domestic theme parks and will sign movie and other endorsement deals only with restaurants that limit fat and sugar in menu items, the company said Monday.
Trans fats will be eliminated from meals at domestic parks by the end of next year, and will not be included in licensed and promotional products by 2008, Disney said.
Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger said the move came in response to comments from parents about the eating habits of their children.
The company was "well aware of the huge responsibility we have, given our reach and our ability to impact people's behavior and opinions," Iger told The Associated Press from Singapore, where he was on business.
Given the increased attention to healthier eating, "it was the right thing to do," he said.
Disney said it would implement the new guidelines over the next several years as current contracts expire.
Iger said the company also sees a business opportunity in promoting and licensing healthier products, ranging from breakfast cereals to the children's meals it serves at its 11 worldwide theme parks.
The entertainment giant currently licenses characters to Indianapolis-based produce distributor Imagination Farms LLC to provide fruits and vegetables for the Disney Garden brand.