Obesity Task Force Readies Report To Congress


The Task Force on Media and Childhood Obesity is looking to release its recommendations to Congress on July 11, according to one of the members.

 The government-industry task force was launched by Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and FCC Chairman Kevin Martin as a way to bring the government and industry together to come up with self-regulatory efforts to combat childhood obesity by trimming the marketing fat.

 Many food marketers and media companies have already taken various steps, including promoting exercise, healthier diets, introducing new products lower in fat, sugar and sodium, and agreeing to balance their advertising of snack vs. healthier foods. For example, Kellogg recently committed to adopt nutrition standards and to either conform its products to those standards or not advertise them to kids.

 That prompted House Telecommunications & Internet Subcommittee Chairman Ed Markey to call on others to follow their lead.

 Those task force recommendations, which are expected to be accompanied immediately or soon after by more self-regulatory commitments from food marketers, will come none too soon with the issue heating up in Congress

Martin went on record saying the FCC may have to regulate if the task force recommendations aren't sufficient to take a bite out of a growing national health crisis.