This report is from the Yale University Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity:
American children and teenagers are seeing far more soda advertising than before, with blacks and Hispanics the major targets as marketers have expanded online, according to a study released Monday. The report from the Yale University Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity also said many fruit and energy drinks, which are popular with teens, have as much added sugar and as many calories as regular soda.
“Our children are being assaulted by these drinks that are high in sugar and low in nutrition,” said Yale’s Kelly Brownell, co-author of the report. “The companies are marketing them in highly aggressive ways.” Children’s and teens’ exposure to full-calorie soda ads on television doubled from 2008 to 2010, fueled by increases from Coca-Cola Co. and Dr Pepper Snapple Group, the report found.
Children were exposed to 22 percent fewer ads for sugary PepsiCo Inc. drinks, it said. Black children and teens were exposed to 80 to 90 percent more ads than white children, including twice as many for the 5-hour Energy drink and Coca-Cola’s vitaminwater and Sprite. Hispanic children were exposed to 49 percent more ads for energy drinks and sugary drinks on Spanish-language television, and Hispanic teens viewed 99 percent more ads.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 15 percent of children are overweight or obese, making them likely to have shorter life spans than their parents.
Facts about sugary drinks
A 12-ounce can of full-calorie soda typically contains 10 1/2 teaspoons of sugar.
An 8-ounce serving of a full-calorie fruit drink has 110 calories and 7 teaspoons of sugar, the same amount found in an 8-ounce serving of a full-calorie soda or energy drink.
Some fruit drink packages are covered with images of real fruit, even though the drinks might contain no more than 5 percent real fruit juice. The ingredients are water and high-fructose corn syrup, or in some cases “real sugar,” such as cane sugar.
Iced teas, sports drinks, flavored waters
Full-calorie versions of these drinks typically contain 3 to 5 teaspoons of sugar per 8-ounce serving.
Despite their high sugar content, more than half of sugary drinks and energy drinks market positive ingredients on their packages, and 64 percent feature their “all-natural” or “real” ingredients.
Let’s make sure we are teaching our children to make better choices as to what they are putting in their bodies.