The Federal Trade Commission will host a public forum on December 15, 2009, titled “Sizing Up Food Marketing and Childhood Obesity.” The forum will assemble industry representatives, federal regulators, consumer groups, scientific researchers, and legal scholars to discuss issues related to food marketing to children. The forum will discuss current research on the impact of food advertising on children, and the statutory and constitutional issues surrounding governmental regulation of food marketing. Panelists also will address the food and entertainment industries’ progress toward self-regulation and implementation of the recommendations in the FTC’s 2008 report, Marketing Foods to Children and Adolescents: A Review of Industry Expenditures, Activities, and Self-Regulation. In addition, the Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children – comprised of representatives from the FTC, Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and U.S. Department of Agriculture – will report on the status of recommended nutritional standards for foods marketed to children.
The forum is free and open to the public; it will be held at the FTC's Satellite Building Conference Center, 601 New Jersey Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC. 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. Arrive at least 30 minutes before the event’s start time to ensure sufficient time to pass through security. 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.
Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. Requests should be submitted via e-mail to email@example.com or by calling Carrie McGlothlin at 202-326-3388. Requests should be made in advance. Please include a detailed description of the accommodation needed, and provide contact information.
- Since 1980, childhood obesity rates have tripled among adolescents and doubled among younger children. While many factors contribute to childhood obesity, regardless of the causes, responsible marketing can play a positive role in improving children's diets and physical activity level. The FTC has been actively working with government agencies, consumer advocates, academics, and industry to foster creative and effective initiatives to help combat childhood obesity. Among other things, the agency has conducted workshops, issued a series of reports on marketing, self-regulation and childhood obesity, and published a study on television food advertising. You can find information about reports and studies, past workshops, monitoring and research, and speeches, statements, and articles here.