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Cartoon Adopts Nutrition Guidelines

Cartoon Network Friday joined the growing list of media companies joining the fight against childhood obesity.

"Cartoon Network will limit the use of its original characters related to its company-owned original series targeted to children under the age of 12 to food and beverage products that meet specific nutritional criteria," the network said.

That came after Discovery Kids and Nickelodeon made similar pledges.

Numerous food companies have promised to make their foods healthier, as well as swearing off marketing of snack foods to kids that don't meet their new, healthier guidelines. House Telecommunications & Internet Subcommittee chairman Ed Markey (D-Mass.) had called on media companies -- including Cartoon parent Time Warner and Nickelodeon parent Viacom -- to follow the food companies' lead.

Markey praised the decision: "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, Cartoon Network is recognizing its responsibility to being part of the solution in addressing the childhood obesity epidemic," he said in a statement. "I look forward to reviewing the details of today’s commitment by Cartoon Network and its future implementation."

Other strategies for a public-private effort to combat obeisty are expected next month, when a task force made up of government officials, food marketers and media companies is planning a report to Congress.