Soda Companies Aggressively Target Latino And Black Youth

A new report shows that kids and teenagers are exposed to more ads for sugary sodas and drinks than ever before and that Latino and African-American youth are being targeted in particular. According to an article published by Reuters, the Yale University Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity found that marketing to young people has become very agressive in the past few years and that “Children’s and teens’ exposure to full-calorie soda ads on television doubled from 2008 to 2010.”

Kind of disturbing considering that anyone who’s been around kids and teenagers knows how susceptible they can be to outside influences, and that by consuming even one small sugary drink a day, they increase their odds of becoming obese by 60%, according to, the site that published the study.

The report also found:

  • Black children and teens saw 80% to 90% more ads than white children, including twice as many for the 5-Hour Energy drink and Coca-Cola’s vitamin water and Sprite.
  • Hispanic children saw 49% more ads for sugary drinks and energy drinks on Spanish-language television, and Hispanic teens saw 99% more ads.
  • In 2010, teens saw 18% more TV ads and heard 46% more radio ads for energy drinks than adults did.

While most parents know that soda is unhealthy for kids and teens to drink, the creators of the study also point out that many fruit juices and sports drinks also contribute to obesity and diabetes.  Labels and ads often state that a fruit drink or vitamin water has healthy benefits, when in reality they often have the same amount of sugar as a typical soda.

So while parents can’t always prevent their kids from seeing every TV ad for Coca-Cola or from watching their favorite pro-athlete hawk the latest sports drink, they can read labels carefully and change what they serve at home and at the dinner table.

[Photo By fimoculous]

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