The University of Arizona

UA Faculty Member Addressing Congress

By La Monica Everett-Haynes, University Communications, | October 11, 2011

Dale Kunkel, a UA communication professor, is scheduled to testify before Congress on Oct. 12 about food marketing to children.

Dale Kunkel has found that children have heavy exposure to food marketing messages in the media. He also has found that exposure to advertisements for unhealthy products is a contributor to the childhood obesity crisis.
Dale Kunkel has found that children have heavy exposure to food marketing messages in the media. He also has found that exposure to advertisements for unhealthy products is a contributor to the childhood obesity crisis.

Dale Kunkel, a University of Arizona communication professor, is scheduled to testify before Congress on food marketing to children. 

Kunkel is slated to testify Oct. 12 before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade and the Subcommittee on Health. 

The hearing, "Food Marketing: Can "Voluntary" Government Restrictions Improve Children’s Health?," will be held at the Capitol.

Kunkel has spent decades studying the effects media has on children. This will be the 20th time he has testified during a Congressional or federal hearing. Last year, Kunkel received a White House invitation to discuss his research before the Task Force on Childhood Obesity. 

For his statement, Kunkel is expected to discuss prior and current research on food advertising targeted toward children and the implications of such marketing. He also will provide suggestions for policy implementation.

The hearing comes after the Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children – which is comprised of four federal agencies – proposed stricter guidelines related to nutrition and marketing.

In his prepared statement, Kunkel noted that "we now know that children's exposure to advertising for unhealthy foods stands prominently among the factors that lead to childhood obesity. That evidence-based conclusion must remain front and center in the discussion about the fate of the IWG guidelines."

Contacts

Lori Harwood

UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

520-626-3846

harwoodl@email.arizona.edu