A study analyzing the marketing practices for 600 products made by 14 companies found there is more advertising of sugary drinks to children, despite industry pledges to the contrary.
Child and teen exposure to TV ads for full-calorie soda doubled from 2008 to 2010. "This increase was driven by Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group. Children were exposed to nearly twice as many TV ads for sugary drinks from these companies," the report by the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity reads. "In contrast, children were exposed to 22 percent fewer ads for PepsiCo sugary drink products." PepsiCo makes Mountain Dew, so sugary and popular among youth in Eastern Kentucky that dentists have identified a tooth-decay syndrome of "Mountain Dew mouth."
Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and Kraft Foods produce two-thirds of the 900 products analyzed.
Coca-Cola accounted for three out of four brand appearances seen by children and teens. Nearly two-thirds of all full-calorie soda or energy drink ads on TV included sponsorship of an athlete, sports league or teams, or an event or cause.
In 2010, black children and Hispanic teens saw 80 to 90 percent more TV ads than white children. Marketing on Spanish-language TV is also growing. In 2010, Hispanic children and teens saw nearly twice the number of sugary drink and energy drink ads as in 2008.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says highly caffeinated energy drinks "have no place in the diet of children and adolescents." But in 2010, teenagers saw 18 percent more TV ads and heard nearly twice as many radio ads for energy drinks than adults did. (Read more)