Children and teenagers in the US are seeing far more soda advertising than before as marketers have expanded online, a study released on Monday found.
The report, from Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity (on www.sugary drinkfacts.org ), also found that many fruit and energy drinks have as much added sugar and calories as full-calorie soda; and that the exposure of children and teens to full-calorie soda ads on TV doubled from 2008 to 2010.
“Our children are being assaulted by these drinks that are high in sugar and low in nutrition,” says Kelly Brownell, co-author of the report. “The companies are marketing them in...aggressive ways.”
Sippin’: Soda ads are on the rise.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 15% of children in the US are overweight or obese. With energy drinks such as Red Bull, the marketing is skewed towards young people, even though the American Academy of Pediatrics says highly caffeinated energy drinks are inappropriate for children and adolescents, the report said.
With more time being spent online than on TV ads, says Brownell, it’s important to consider the online interaction children have with brands. The report found that 21 sugary drink brands had YouTube channels in 2010, with 229 million views by June 2011, and Coca-Cola is the most popular brand on Facebook, with more than 30 million fans.
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