Despite his relatively healthful diet of kelp jerky, seahorse milk and bran flakes, SpongeBob SquarePants is being accused of leading children astray in nutrition. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has placed a wanted ad with the Nickelodeon character looking disgruntled and rocking a 5 o'clock shadow in The Hollywood Reporter. According to the organization, in comparison to companies like Disney, Nickelodeon falls behind in junk food advertorial guidelines.

This is not the first time the organization has targeted the kids network — and it's not entirely fair, says Adweek. The publication points out that “Disney isn't all Snow White when it comes to marketing junk food to kids and CSPI knows it.” Last December, the organization coordinated a campaign to get Nickelodeon to adopt stricter measures, which was backed by 80 members of the nutritional community.

In its defense, Nickelodeon pointed out its own initiatives. And because it doesn't hurt, it name-dropped Michelle Obama, who once praised the network for the “iCarly iCook with Birds Eye” campaign. The First Lady appeared on an episode of iCarly and the Kids' Choice Awards last year.

And in related news:

Flamin' Hot Cheetos Under Fire: Schools Seek to Ban the Spicy “Crack” Snack

Junk Food Tied to Higher Colon Cancer Risk

The Salty Six: The American Heart Assn. Names 6 Common High Sodium Foods

Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook. Follow the author on Twitter at @chrstnchiao.

LA Weekly