Sen. Smith to Chair Obesity Hearing


The Commerce Committee hearing Tuesday examining advertising to kids and its links to child obesity will be chaired by Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), and not Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), as originally reported. McCain will not attend.

Smith is chairman of the Commerce panel’s Competition, Foreign Commerce, and Infrastructure Subcommittee.

Victoria Rideout, head of the Kaiser Family Foundation’s media and health programs, will testify about a new study showing food ads and programming tie-ins directed at children may contribute to unhealthy eating habits.

Also testifying will be Robert Liodice, president of the Association of National Advertisers, nutrition experts and officials from the grocery and restaurant industries.

The obesity issue has been in the news lately because of the Kaiser study and a call by the American Psychological Association for restrictions on food ads. Because of those and other studies, the Center for Science in the Public Interest teamed with Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) on a bill requiring labeling on restaurant menus and vending machines.