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Soft Drink Manufacturers Market To Children

Source: Steve Tatum via flickr

A recent research study focused on the marketing tactics of the soft drink industry.  The data demonstrated how the beverage companies focus their marketing on children.

The Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale found that from 2006 to 2008, the number of advertisements children and teens saw for regular soda doubled. That’s during a time when the American Beverage Association, the trade group for drink makers, said members had stopped advertising sugary drinks in children’s programming.

The Rudd Center, which crusades for government regulation of food advertising and a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, said the food industry spends more on marketing sweetened drinks to children than it does any other food category.

At the same time, overall advertising for the soft drink industry dropped.  This makes the disparity that much more compelling.

The Rudd Center has published similar reports examining the marketing of fast food and sugary cereal to children, finding that companies advertise extensively to children. Monday’s report identified the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages as a key factor driving childhood obesity, citing studies that kids who consume an 8-ounce serving of sugary liquids such as soda, fruit punch, or energy drinks are 60 percent more likely to be obese than those who don’t. One such drink contains 27 to 30 grams of sugar, more than is recommended for most children and teens in an entire day.

The beverage industry has cut back on its television ads for sugary drinks. Under a voluntary agreement, members of the American Beverage Association have not advertised such products during programs with audiences “predominantly” under 12. Coca Cola, the company the Rudd study identified as the biggest advertiser to children, said that it, like its peers, had cut back its marketing of regular soda to kids.

Study Faults Soft-Drink Industry for Excessive Marketing to Children – Margot Sanger-Katz – NationalJournal.com.

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