The public-private task force on "Media and Childhood Obesity: Today and Tomorrow" has announced its list of participants and plans to meet for the first time in coming weeks.

According to an FCC press release, the task force is a bipartisan effort "to provide a forum for the public and private sectors to jointly examine the impact of media on childhood obesity rates and collaborate on voluntary recommendations to address the alarming rise in the rates of obese children." It was first announced on September 27, 2006, by Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate.

The task force will include representatives of the FCC, the United States Senate, consumer advocacy groups, health care experts, the media, the food and beverage industry and the advertising industry.

The FCC will be represented on the task force by Chairman Martin, Commissioner Tate and Commissioner Michael Copps. The Senate will be represented by Senator Brownback and Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who serves as chairman of the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee. FTC Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras is also expected to participate. Other members of the task force include the Parents Television Council, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Walt DisneyCompany, McDonald's and the American Association of American Advertisers, among many others.

The task force will meet several times in 2007 "in an effort to build consensus regarding voluntary steps and goals that the public and private sectors can take to combat childhood obesity." The task force eventually plans to produce a report on its findings.

The Task Force on Media and Childhood Obesity's website is www.fcc.gov/obesity.