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Kris Harrison received her A.B. in an individulaized concentration in Media and Art from the University of Michigan Residential College and her M.A and Ph.D. in Communication Science at the University of Wisconsin,
Madison. She is currently a Professor of Communciation Studies and an RCGD Faculty Associate.
Professor Harrison has been studying mass media effects on children since the mid-1990s, when she was a doctoral student at the University of Wisconsin (PhD, Communication Arts, 1997). Her research focuses on mass media portrayals of human bodies, food, and eating, and investigates the effects of exposure to these portrayals on food-, body-, and eating-related cognitions, behaviors, and emotions among children and adolescents. Since the average child views more than 20 hours of television per week (the equivalent of a part-time job), the influence of media and marketing messages about food and eating on child nutrition is far from trivial.