Drinks target kids who shouldn't drink them

This is another in a series of posts based on the recent f.a.c.t.s. (“food advertising to children and teens score”) report on sugary sodas issued by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale. A while ago, the center did a similar report on the advertising of junk food to children, and you can read my excerpts from that here.

I encounter plenty of ways in which I am reminded that I'm ages beyond any desirable demographic. The examples in point here are energy drinks. I've never had one, don't think I'll ever have one, and the industry that created them does not care one whit whether I do. The targets are all much younger, which, as it regards a 53-year-old, doesn't narrow the field much. 

But the industry is aiming as low as it can go: In 2010, according to the Rudd Center, "teens saw 18 percent more TV ads for energy drinks and heard 46 percent more radio ads, than adults did." This is despite another Rudd Center datum: "The American Academy of Pediatrics says that highly caffeinated energy drinks 'have no place in the diet of children and adolescents.'"

The percentage of increase for those TV ads just between '08 and '10 is 20 percent. Meanwhile, the report points out that caffeine content is not required — and is often not listed — on product packages, which hampers parents who might want to monitor their children's intake.

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