Kids Food Ads Focus of New Study

Dr. Dale Kunkel has been awarded a $170,000 research grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to study the impact of industry self-regulation of food marketing targeted at children.  The study will evaluate the effectiveness of industry self-regulation at improving the nutritional quality of products advertised to kids.  The project team includes Communication Department graduate students Paul Wright, Jessica Castonguay, and Caroline Duff, along with eight undergraduate research assistants who will receive academic credit for their work.  If the industry’s voluntary efforts prove ineffective, public health officials have already suggested that government restrictions on food marketing to children may be the next step to address the problem.  Kunkel presented previous research on the topic at a hearing of the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, DC in December, 2009.

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College of Social and Behavioral Sciences