Report: Retailer marketing gets children hooked on sugary drinks

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Report: Retailer marketing gets children hooked on sugary drinks

Coca-Cola's Innocent Juice line.

Children are getting hooked on sugary drinks at an early age, thanks to misleading marketing and labeling that confuses parents on what is actually in them, according to a story in the New York Times.

According to the news outlet, the labels are intentionally confusing parents by adding images of apples and oranges on juices that contain no fruit juice, as well as claiming “no added sugar” on the front labels of products when artificial sweeteners are being heavily used in the sugary product.

Food and beverage consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, such as Coca-Cola and Kraft Heinz spent nearly $21 million last year advertising sugary drinks to children, the New York Times reported.

“I think parents are terribly confused,” Jennifer L. Harris, the lead author of the “Sales, Nutrition, and Marketing of Children’s Drink” report by the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at the University of Connecticut, told the New York Times. “I’ve talked to parents with Ph.D. (degrees) in public health who say they’ve been tricked into buying unhealthy drinks for their kids.”

The Rudd Center analyzed 23 of the best-selling children’s drinks and ranked those with the highest sugar content and those most heavily advertised to children. The center also flagged products most likely to subtly misrepresent their front-of-label ingredients.

To read the New York Times story, click here.

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