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How to Stop Companies from Marketing Sugary Drinks to Kids

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Today, kids are taking in too much sugar. Further efforts are needed to improve the beverage marketing environment to support, rather than harm, young people’s health. Here are some changes that we need to see and steps parents can take to make a difference in their kids’ health by lowering sugar consumption.

Beverage companies must stop marketing unhealthy products directly to youth.

  • Stop targeting teens with marketing for sugary drinks and highly caffeinated products.
  • Introduce children’s drinks with less than 40 calories per serving and no nonnutritive sweeteners.
  • All companies should provide easily accessible ingredient information online.
  • Do not target sugary drink marketing to communities that suffer disproportionately from diet-related diseases, including Hispanic and black youth.
  • Strengthen the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative standards to include all forms of marketing to children up to age 14.

Policymakers can introduce regulation and legislation.

  • Require transparent product labeling, including calories, added sugars, and artificial sweetener content on the front of all packaging.
  • Require products that feature nutrition-related claims on package to meet minimum nutrition standards.

Parents can make a difference.

  • Check ingredient lists on packages of children’s drinks for added sugars, artificial sweeteners, and artificial flavors.
  • Advocate for healthy beverages in schools, childcare centers, after-school programs, and other youth-focused settings.
  • Contact beverage companies and tell them to stop their harmful marketing practices.


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About the Author

The Rudd Center is a non-profit research and public policy organization devoted to improving the world’s diet, preventing obesity, and reducing weight stigma. The Rudd Center serves as a leader in building broad-based consensus to change diet and activity patterns, while holding industry and government agencies responsible for safeguarding public health.


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