Jennifer Harris, PhD

Associate Professor
Director of Marketing Initiatives, UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity

Koons Hall, Room 210

View CV | Recent Publications (PubMed)


Dr. Jennifer Harris is an Associate Professor in the Department of Allied Health Sciences and Director of Marketing Initiatives for UConn's Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity. Her research examines the extent and content of food-related marketing and its impact on health behaviors, attitudes, and motivations, with a focus on children, adolescents, and parents. Utilizing a multi-disciplinary approach, she incorporates methods from experimental psychology, marketing, communications, public health, nutrition, and economics. Her program also integrates communications and advocacy outreach to inform policymakers, child health advocates, food and media companies, and parents. She has received $18 million in external funding, primarily from private foundations, and her work has been widely cited in national print, broadcast, and digital press. Dr. Harris' research has been instrumental in raising awareness of the harmful effects of unhealthy food marketing on children's health and has supported policy solutions at multiple levels, including: USDA regulations on food marketing in schools; state and local policies like sugary drink taxes and healthier kids' meals; and international legislation to restrict unhealthy food marketing to children in Canada, Chile, and the UK. Her current research centers on emerging issues in food marketing to youth and their parents, including: targeted marketing of fast food, candy, sugary drinks, and snacks to Black and Hispanic youth, and its impact on health disparities; digital marketing aimed at adolescents, especially on mobile devices, raising both health and privacy concerns; and marketing of nutritionally poor baby and toddler food and drinks, often with messages that imply these products provide health and/or developmental benefits.