Expert on Role of Media in Children's Development to Speak at Webster | Webster University

Expert on Role of Media in Children's Development to Speak at Webster

ST. LOUIS, MO (Sept. 30, 2014) - Dr. Ellen Wartella, a leading scholar of the role of media in children’s development and the impact of food marketing on childhood obesity, will present “Food Marketing and the Childhood Obesity Crisis.” She will speak on Monday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. in the Emerson Library Conference Room.

Her presentation will examine:

  • The current state of childhood obesity in the United States
  • The kinds of foods marketed to children
  • Their impact on children’s food preferences and diets
  • Policy recommendations of the Institute of Medicine regarding food marketing to children
  • Current self-regulatory measures by the food industry

Excited about the presentation, Department of Communications and Journalism Professor Kit Jenkins explained, “Dr. Ellen Wartella’s work speaks not only to media professionals but also to school personnel, parents and the public at large. It’s all about media literacy. Everyone has a stake in the kinds of messages we’re sending out to children.”

Dr. Ellen Wartella

Eric Rothenbuhler, dean of the School of Communications, who is a personal acquaintance of Dr. Wartella, describes her as “one of the few, most widely known, most widely respected scholars of communication in the world today.” He goes on to say, “I have followed her career, admired her work, and benefited from her good example and advice since the beginnings of my own career.”

Dr. Wartella is the Sheikh bin Khalifa Al-Thani Professor of Communication at Northwestern University. She is also a professor of psychology, human development and social policy, and medical social sciences. She is the director of the Center on Media and Human Development and chair of the department of Communication Studies at Northwestern University.

As a recognized scholar in her field, Dr. Wartella serves on a variety of boards including the World Summit on Media for Children Foundation, PBS KIDS Next Generation, and the Public Goods Projects. Dr. Wartella has served on numerous other boards and recently received two significant National Science Foundation grants.

This event is sponsored by the Webster University School of Communications Speaker Series and the Webster Wellness Committee. Everyone is welcome to attend.

About the School of Communications

The Webster University School of Communications prepares students to excel as skilled professionals in the global field of communication. The School provides a hands-on approach to learning that is grounded in the University's liberal arts foundations and commitment to global education. Sixteen undergraduate majors, five graduate degree programs, 14 minors and 14 certificates cover a wide array of communication specialties. They are taught by faculty who are theorists, artists, and practitioners. Students work with professional-grade media equipment, take courses at Webster's U.S., European, and Asian campuses, participate in robust field experiences and internships, and along with faculty and alumni, are frequently recognized for their academic and professional accomplishments.

About Webster

With its home campus in St. Louis, Webster University ( is the only Tier 1, private, nonprofit U.S.-based university providing a network of international residential campuses and a robust online learning program. Founded in 1915, Webster University's campus network today includes metropolitan, military and corporate locations around the world as well as traditional residential campuses in Asia, Europe, North America, and Africa. The University is committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.