Yale University’s Rudd Center has released an unprecedented report on sugary drink nutrition and youth-targeted marketing. The study found that young people are being exposed to a massive amount of marketing for sugary drinks, such as full-calorie soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, and fruit drinks, according to a new study from the Rudd Center.
The study is the most comprehensive and science-based assessment of sugary drink nutrition and marketing ever conducted.
The data show that companies marketing sugary drinks target young people, especially black and Hispanic youth.
The report’s authors studied marketing by 14 beverage companies and examined the nutritional quality of nearly 600 products including full-calorie soda, energy drinks, fruit drinks, flavored water, sports drinks, and iced teas, as well as diet energy drinks and diet children’s fruit drinks.
“Beverage companies have pledged to improve child-directed advertising,” said lead researcher Jennifer Harris, PhD, MBA, Director of Marketing Initiatives at the Rudd Center. “But we are not seeing a true decrease in marketing exposure. Instead companies have shifted from traditional media to newer forms that engage youth through rewards for purchasing sugary drinks, community events, cause-related marketing, promotions, product placements, social media, and smartphones.”