Marketers Respond to Obesity Challenge: What Is Your Company Doing?

Childhood obesity is a serious national challenge.  The marketing community and individual companies have taken a number of specific steps to address this problem.  ANA is serving on a joint government/industry task force that will be meeting next Friday to discuss potential new initiatives.  One of our goals is to develop a comprehensive inventory of the efforts already being made by individual marketers to address childhood obesity.  Therefore, we need examples of programs or partnerships that your company has begun to address childhood obesity.


The Task Force on Media and Childhood Obesity was formed several months ago by Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) and FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and FCC Commissioner Deborah Tate.  It's intended to be a non-adversarial setting where industry groups, public interest groups and government officials can work together on solutions to the childhood obesity crisis. 

The task force will be meeting monthly for the next several months with the goal of a report to be released in July with specific recommendations.  The next meeting is Friday, April 13th at the FCC. 

ANA is the chair of an advertising industry subgroup that will be reporting on current and potential initiatives from our sector to address childhood obesity.  There will also be reports from subgroups from the media community, the food and beverage industry, the health and academic and advocacy communities.

The advertising community has taken a number of steps to address childhood obesity.  We outlined those efforts in a statement at the first formal meeting of the task force last month.  

While much of the public focus in this area has been on food and beverage and restaurant companies, many marketers in other product categories also have specific programs to address childhood obesity.  For example, State Farm Insurance is a sponsor of the "50 Million Pound Challenge," a multimedia event that promotes healthier lifestyles and diets in the African American community. 

Whatever your product category, if your company has a specific project or partnership to address childhood obesity, please contact Dan Jaffe ( or Keith Scarborough ( in ANA's Washington, DC office at (202) 296-1883 to let us know about your efforts.

Thank you for your assistance.