Multiple government agencies teaming for obesity forum


Childhood obesity is seen as an epidemic in Washington and marketing practices used to sell food to children is under the microscope. At the direction of Congress, no less than four government agencies are collecting commentary on the matter, and they’re also holding a forum on the topic.

The forum is scheduled for Tuesday 5/24/11. It’ll be in Washington DC at the Department of Health and Human Services digs in the Hubert H. Humphrey Building, and it will run from 11AM-3PM. Pre-registration is required by 5/20/11 for those wishing to attend.

The agencies in on this project include the Federal Trade Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“In an effort to combat childhood obesity and promote children’s health, Congress directed the agencies to establish the working group and develop recommendations for the nutritional quality of food marketed to children and adolescents,” stated the group in describing its mandate. It is seeking to come up with voluntary rather than regulatory measures.

It has also responded to stakeholders who have asked for more time to weigh in. An extra 30 days have been added to the comment deadline, extending it to 7/14/11.

RBR-TVBR observation: Want to get something done? Assign one person to do it. Want to slow it down? Send it to committee. Want to slow it down even more? Send it to an agency. Want to completely hamstring it? Send it to multiple agencies. This issue will be with us for a long, long time.