Issues on Sugary Drinks That Affect Kids and Teens
Many children are exposed to advertisements of sugary drinks including sodas, fruit drinks, sports drinks and energy drinks. The advertisements are often placed on prime-time TV, online and Facebook.
Ads Promoting Unhealthy Drinks to Kids
Unfortunately, most of these ads by beverage makers give the impression that their products are healthy and suitable for children even though they contain artificial sweeteners, lots of sugar and caffeine. Many parents also think that because the ads say the sweetened sports drinks and fruit juices have vitamin C and natural ingredients in them, they are good and healthy choices for their kids.
Negative Report on the Beverage Industry
There’s a report made by experts from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity of Yale University that investigated almost 600 products made by 14 beverage companies. See some of what is included in their findings below and you will be surprised.
- Just like regular sodas, many of the fruit drinks and energy drinks that are sold in the market have the same amount of sugar and calories.
- About 40 percent of fruit drinks for kids have artificial sweeteners.
- Fifty percent of energy drinks and sugary drinks out in the market claim that their products are nutritious. More than half put “real” or “all natural” ingredients on the package.
Children and teens should not drink energy drinks, but more teens than adults were exposed to TV ads and radio ads marketing energy drinks in 2010.
Even if unhealthy drinks should not be marketed to children, more full-calorie soda TV ads are aired from 2008 to 2010 and children were able to watch them.
Some Positive Related News
The good news is that there was some improvement on the type of beverage ads shown during the time of TV programming for children under 12. Only ads about juice, milk and water were allowed. This is in line with the commitment of beverage companies whose management and employees are also concerned parents to take into consideration the welfare of children.
Nevertheless, more action is needed because the reality is kids and teens are still drinking more sugary beverages which is very unhealthy.
Working on the Solution
If sodas and energy drinks are not healthy for adults, they are certainly not healthy for kids and teens. Parents need to get a stronger emphasis on this matter. While beverage companies should not only control their marketing strategies, but also invest in their R&D to come up with better and healthier products.
Overall, it is the parent’s call to look after the health of their children. They should stop buying and stocking sugary and soda beverages at home. It is better if they just get used to drinking water and milk. The teens may complain about not having sodas or fruit juices, but it will be for the better.
Photo credits: Image by David Guo via Flickr, CC by 2.0