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Talk on Food Marketing and Children

UCR’s Executive Vice Chancellor/Provost Ellen Wartella to Present Talk on Effects of Food Marketing Trends on Children

Feb. 8 talk shows how food and beverage marketing practices influence consumption behavior of youth

(January 31, 2006)

Ellen Wartella

Ellen Wartella

Palm Desert, Calif. — UCR Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Ellen Wartella, will present a talk about food marketing trends’ effects on childhood eating habits titled, “Food Marketing: Threat or Opportunity?” at 5 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 8, at UCR Palm Desert.

The public talk is part of the “Imagining the Future” lecture series offered at UCR Palm Desert, 75-080 Frank Sinatra Drive. Admission is free but reservations are suggested and can be made by calling (760) 834-0597.

Wartella, who is an internationally recognized scholar on media’s effects on child development, will trace modern health and dietary trends and examine the factors shaping food and beverage consumption among children and youth. She will present the modern landscape of food and beverage marketing and review the evidence examined by the National Academies’ blue ribbon committee of the Institute of Medicine, on which she served. The study was requested by Congress and sponsored by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Wartella will also share the committee’s conclusions and sweeping recommendations to the food industry, the media and entertainment industries, parents, caregivers and families, schools, public policy makers, the nation’s research community and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on how to halt the alarming trends found in the study.

The committee’s 18-month study of the role of food and beverage marketing on the diets and health of U.S. children and youth has highlighted marketing practices targeting children and youth that are out of balance with healthful diets. These practices also contribute to an environment that puts their health at risk.

As Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, Wartella serves as Acting Chancellor in the Chancellor’s absence; works closely with the Chancellor in the formulation of the campus vision and implementation of academic and administrative policies; works closely with the Deans in recruitment and retention of faculty; has responsibility for managing the daily operations of the campus; and is principal liaison to the Academic Senate. Wartella is also a distinguished professor of psychology at UCR.

Wartella received her Ph.D. in Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota in 1977 and completed her postdoctoral research in development psychology in 1981 at the University of Kansas. She has written and edited several books and has published numerous book chapters and journal articles on mass media and communications. Wartella is co-principal investigator of a five-year, multi-site research project funded by National Science Foundation on the impact of digital media on children’s development. She serves on several national boards including the Decade of Behavior National Advisory Committee, The National Academies of Sciences Board on Children, Youth and Families, The Sesame Workshop, Kraft Foods Global Health & Wellness Advisory Council, and The National Educational Advisory Board for the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

UCR Palm Desert is a satellite campus of the University of California, Riverside. UCR Palm Desert sits at the heart of the Coachella Valley offering a Master’s of Business Administration program in Entrepreneurial Management through its Richard J. Heckmann International Center for Entrepreneurial Management. The Educational Center offers a Master’s of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing & Writing for the Performing Arts. Visit or call 760-834-0800 for more information.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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