The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Health and Human Services will host a forum, “Weighing In: A Check-Up on Marketing, Self-Regulation, and Childhood Obesity,” to review progress in implementing self-regulatory and educational initiatives to combat childhood obesity. It will be held on July 18, 2007 at the FTC Conference Center, 601 New Jersey Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC beginning at 9 a.m. The forum is free and open to the public.
In 2005, the FTC and HHS hosted a workshop to address the growing incidence of childhood obesity and self-regulatory initiatives undertaken to address the issue. In 2006, the agencies issued a report based on the record from the workshop, “Perspectives on Marketing, Self-Regulation, and Childhood Obesity,” that provided a list of recommended self-regulatory actions for companies marketing food and beverages to children.
At the forum, food industry, media representatives, and self-regulatory groups will report on progress implementing initiatives that respond to the recommendations in the 2006 report. The forum also will provide an opportunity for consumer groups, advertising specialists, and other key experts to review the progress of actions undertaken to date, and to consider what steps should be taken next. Other speakers will discuss public education efforts addressing healthy eating and physical activity and will present new research on the amount and types of advertising children see on television.
An agenda for the forum is at www.ftc.gov/bcp/workshops/childobesity/agenda.pdf. Updated information will be posted as it becomes available.
The forum is free and open to the public, but space will be limited. Pre-registration is not necessary, but is encouraged so the FTC may better plan this event. Those pre-registering should send their name, affiliation, and e-mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that pre-registration will not guarantee a seat at the event; seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. The FTC will use pre-registration information to estimate the likely audience for the forum, and may use the e-mail address to contact registrants with information about the forum.
Copies of the 2006 report are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/complaint.shtm. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,600 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.