With its latest announcement about banning junk-food commercials on its various channels, radio stations and websites, Walt Disney Company seems to have signalled that it intends to become a lean, mean fighting machine. But is it trying to steal candy from the mouths of babes? It would seem so.
Or is it trying to get a generation of boys and girls to emulate the whippet-thin samurai cartoon warriors that motion picture giants are so fond of? Well, it is in good company. The health conscious mayor of New York has decided to do away with super-sized drinks in the city. And of course, First Lady Michelle Obama is leading the charge against obesity.
Now, we are all with Michelle on this. But not all of us have a nice little garden outside the house like she does where we can trip around basket in hand gathering nutritious fruits and vegetables. No, most of us are on the trot most of the time and a quick burger and cola are all we have time for. But will banning super-sized drinks and unhealthy food do the trick? No, if you are determined to have your cake and eat it too, you will find ways around these restrictions. Yes, you might wolf down two scaled down burgers instead of one.
But Disney channel is sticking to its fork and knife. It is quite willing to whittle down its revenues if people whittle down their waists. Walt Disney’s already struck off its menu candy bars, colas and doughnuts along with any cereal with more than 10 grams of sugar per serving and any meal that exceeds the 600-calorie count.
Let us hope this does not give people here any ideas. While super-sized portions are not a problem, our fondness for ghee-laden treats and greasy curries cannot be thrown out with the dekchi. And there is the question of forbidden fruit being all that much more tempting. Those who are determined to sink their teeth into their favourite calorie-filled delights will do so even if regulators go blue in the face. Yes, the latter would be biting off more than they can chew. Water finds its own level, and so will colas. In a world outside cartoons, that is the way the cookie crumbles.