Building a consensus on voluntary steps and goals that the public and private sectors can take to combat childhood obesity is the goal of the Task Force on Media and Childhood Obesity being convened by the FCC. The membership on the Task Force was just announced and the lack of any professional public health, communications or marketing organizations is a bit strange.
I would think this is one type of public policy initiative that would be very interested in having these perspectives represented on the task force. And one that the APHA, for example, would want to get out in front of rather than running with the pack on other issues. Maybe there will be other ways to participate and provide some input to their work?
The Task Force will be meeting throughout 2007 and will issue a report on their work. I hope it doesn't devolve into a legal debate on whether or not there are effects of media on childhood obesity - and that the members also remember that unanticipated or unintentional ones are still effects.
Will they look at what is happening in the UK and across Europe? Some pretty important lessons to learn there, like that it is a public health issue. There are some of us who do believe that the media is a major social determinant of health status and inequities.