Washington The U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Education and Health and Human Services are asking the public for ideas to help the Task Force on Childhood Obesity come up with recommendations for public and private sector actions to solve the problem of childhood obesity. The work of the Task Force will complement the efforts of First Lady Michelle Obama as she leads a national public awareness effort to tackle this critical public health issue.
On Feb. 9, 2010, President Obama created the first-ever federal task force to enhance coordination between private sector companies, not-for-profits, agencies within the government and other organizations to address the problem of childhood obesity. The Presidential Memo that established the Task Force directed senior officials from executive agencies and the White House to develop a comprehensive interagency action plan that details a coordinated strategy, identifies key benchmarks and goals, describes research gaps and needs, and assists in the development of legislative, budgetary, and policy proposals that can improve the health and well-being of children, their families, and communities. The Task Force was also directed to review the following objectives:
- ensuring access to healthy, affordable food;
- increasing physical activity in schools and communities;
- providing healthier food in schools; and
- empowering parents with information and tools to make good choices for themselves and their families.
In addition, the Presidential Memo directed the Task Force to conduct outreach with representatives of private and non-profit organizations, State, Tribal, and local authorities, and other interested persons that can assist with the Task Force's development of a detailed set of recommendations to solve the problem of childhood obesity. The Request for Information published today asks a series of detailed questions that will help the Task Force draft its report.
Notice of the request for public input, including more specifics, are available in the March 16, 2010 Federal Register, available at: http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#documentDetail?R=0900006480abdc63.
Comments should be submitted on line at: www.regulations.gov, or by fax or mail to: Director, Office Executive Secretariat, USDA, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Room 116-A Whitten Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20250. Fax number: (202) 720-7166.
All comments will be open to public review.