Last June, the Walt Disney Co. became the first major media company to ban ads for junk food on its television channels, radio stations and websites.
In March, a study released by the Center for Science in the Public Interest found 69 percent of food ads on Nickelodeon were of poor nutritional quality.
"As long as Nickelodeon lags behind the rest of the industry, the company's behavior is likely to come under even greater scrutiny from parents, shareholders, regulators, and members of Congress," said Margo Wootan, the center's nutrition policy director.
Wootan said the center's study of 28 hours of Nickelodeon programming found two public-service announcements for physical activity, compared to 60 ads for unhealthy food.
Nickelodeon's response to the senators "isn't really a very good excuse," Wootan said. "Implementing (food ad) standards doesn't require them to be nutrition experts."
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