Take Action on Big Soda!


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Original Image by Alexis Nyal via Flickr

Think the beverage industry randomly decides what drinks to offer and have your best interest in sight? Think again! The beverage industry spends over $12 billion a YEAR marketing its products to youth and families. In other words, that’s 1 million every hour per day! Even though soda only adds and exacerbates one’s risk for diabetes, tooth decay, heart disease, cancer, obesity, sexual dysfunction and/or premature death, by using the 3Ms, marketing, money and misinformation, unfortunately consumers are bombarded with pleas to buy soda.

Breakdown of the 3Ms:

  • Marketing: African American and Latino youth are targeted, with teens seeing 80-90% more TV ads for sugar sweetened beverages than Caucasian peers. More than $28 million is spent per year targeting this population, with the help of celebrity endorsements. Additionally, cartoon characters are often times used to lure kids in, with Coca Cola placing more than 38 million ads on children’s websites in 2013. Coca Cola has announced Vision 2020, its plan to double its business by that year. This aggressive plan will be targeting mostly Latino and African American communities in the U.S. and abroad.

In the words of Coca Cola’s Chief Marketing Officer Bea Perez: “We know that 86 percent of the growth through 2020 for Coca-Cola’s youth target market will come from multicultural consumers, especially Hispanic, and focusing on this segment is critical to the company’s future growth.” 

  • Money: Beverage companies fund studies finding ‘…no conclusive link between obesity and sugary drinks.’ Coincidence? I think not! Furthermore,from 2007-2013 lobbysites from Pepsico, American Beverage Association and Coca Cola gave $100 million+ to directly linfluence policy makers and local government and through philanthropy ‘selfish giving’ gives beverage companies an ‘in’ to non profit companies (e.g. Pepsi and Dr. Pepper gave $200,000 to Feeding America), making consumers link these brands to health and wellness, instead of illness and obesity. Over time, this gains public trust and goodwill, which in turn increases their sales and profits.
  • Misinformation: While a balanced diet is recommended for all, soda executives want us to think they care about conusmers’ health, making ‘healthier’ drinks and advertising with false health claims.

 

Beverage companies states parents and individuals are responsible for choosing healthy options, however, they’re all about the profit. Learn how you can be part of the change and take action against beverage companies:

  1. Tweet and/or email soda executives, such as @Pepsi and/or @CocaCola and let them know what you think!
  2. Contact pharmacies, such as Walgreens and urge them to keep check out lanes healthier! While pharmacies should be a safe haven, providing tools that actually help us stay our best version of ourselves, by placing soda and candy at checkout leads to unplanned, impulse purchases.
  3. Watch and share videos to witness the youth of The Bigger Picture Project in action. Use YouTube’s < Share feature to email and share!
  4. Learn about public policy and legislation campaigns to better understand the politics and logistics to being part of the wave of change.
  5. Urge FDA to switch from grams to teaspoons when declaring sugar content.By using standard jargon across the board, this will clear up confusion. The World Health Organization recommends the average person should consume no mNew Postore than 6 teaspoons of sugar per day.

 

With consumption of sugary drinks doubling in the last 3 decades, health care costs and chronic disease rising, the time is now to take action!

Sources:https://www.cspinet.org/new/pdf/facts-on-sugar-drink-marketing.pdf http://www.opentruthnow.org/how-they-target-us/

http://www.kickthecan.info/legislative-campaigns

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/research/advertising-to-children-and-teens-current-practices

http://crushbigsoda.com/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nancy-brown/dear-big-soda-its-time-fo_b_10004152.html

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