Have you ever noticed that there are so many brands of drinks from sports to sodas in every grocery store? Many even have separate sections for drinks only suitable for children. And guess what? There are more sweetened drinks than unsweetened ones in Children’s drink sections.
Drink companies have made it harder to distinguish between both and most parents end up purchasing the wrong ones for their children.
Research has been conducted at UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy and Health where the way food is advertised to kids and their parents for over a decade has been studied.
It was found that drinks companies have spent and are spending millions in advertising drinks with artificial sweeteners to children. What came out more shocking is that companies label these drinks as healthy choices.
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In a recent study at the Rudd Center, the trends of advertisement from 2006 to 2017 were studied. The ads were made in such a way that they increased purchasing trends. It should not be a problem only if the advertised product is unsweetened. The companies annually spend quite a large budget to promote these unhealthy sweetened drinks to children.
It was also noted that the price of sweetened drinks was significantly less than unsweetened drinks. And, that drove families with lower income towards them because in their sense they are purchasing healthy products for their young ones as advertised by these companies.
These investments may be increasing the company’s profit but they are decreasing children’s health. It is because according to research too much intake of sugary drinks can cause several health problems including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and tooth decay.
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In 2018 alone, the U.S. companies spent $21 million to advertise sweetened drinks across different platforms. Out of this $21 million investment, $18.5 million was spent only on T.V. On the other hand, only $13.6 million was spent on unsweetened drinks.
In the same research, it was also observed that these companies directly sell their products to children. As the ads are run more during children’s shows. Also, the packaging is made too attractive with bright colors and famous cartoon characters that attract children even more.
All these tricks made by companies are undermining the efforts of parents who would like to purchase healthy things for their kids.
Also, the price of unsweetened drinks increased significantly over time whereas unsweetened drinks did not see much greater hike in their price over the last decade.
Lower prices also contribute to more consumption of sweetened drinks. Another contributor is misleading labels because companies are labeling these drinks as healthier options. They even use the label “Less Sugar” in their products when in reality they are different.
Another tactic is the look-alike packaging of both categories of drinks. Which makes it difficult for parents to choose, especially when they are in a hurry.
It is important to reduce the amount of sugar intake especially for young ones to have a better future tomorrow. It is therefore essential for parents to tackle these clever tactics of companies more cleverly and choose healthier options for them.
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