- Author: Lauria Watts
- Author: Lauria Watts
Put it on your calendars: The Flavors of Fall Class is coming quick.
And welcome to new MFPs Tim, Lynn, Betty Jo, Lorena, Marty, Jill, Beverly, Rebecca, Clare and Beatriz!
- Author: ABCNews.com
They say their report confirms what public health experts have suspected for years — that advertisers of junk foods find a lucrative audience among minorities.
And the researchers who wrote the report say it helps explain why black and Hispanic kids are more likely to be obese than their white peers.
The report finds that African-American children and teens see 70 percent more food-related TV advertising than white kids do. They also see twice as many TV ads for candy, sugary drinks, and snacks, according to the team at the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at the University of Connecticut, the African-American Collaborative Obesity Research Network and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Study after study shows that Americans — and people in most other countries, too — are getting fatter.
And blacks and Hispanics are far more likely than whites or Asians to be overweight.
While it's hard to demonstrate that advertising directly causes people to eat too much unhealthy food, the way companies advertise certainly reflects and reinforces preferences, the research team said.
"Previous research has shown that black and Hispanic youth receive a 'double dose' of food marketing that promotes products high in sugar, saturated fat, and sodium," they wrote.
"Compared to white non-Hispanic youth, they are exposed to more food advertising in the media, as well as more marketing messages in their communities."
The team did an in-depth analysis, looking at 26 restaurant, food, and beverage companies, including all companies with $100 million or more in advertising spending in 2013. They also examined the companies taking part in the voluntary Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative industry self-regulatory program.
"Systematic searches of marketing trade press and reports, companies' annual reports, and press releases from 2012 to 2014 identified statements about their targeted marketing practices," the report reads.
"To identify brands with TV advertising targeted to black and Hispanic audiences, we utilized syndicated market research data from Nielsen."
They found three brands advertised heavily on Spanish-language television and not at all on English-language broadcasts: 7 Up, Kraft Mayonnaise, and Fuze Iced Tea.
"Black children and teens saw at least twice as many ads for gum/mints, soda, and other sugary drinks compared with white children and teens, and black children saw 2.1 times as many candy and regular soda ads and 2.3 times as many gum/mint ads," the report says.
They're careful not to blame companies doing what they need to do to stay afloat — advertise and try to sell products.
"In evaluating companies' targeted marketing practices, it is important to recognize that food and beverage marketing designed to appeal directly to Hispanic and black consumers is not problematic in and of itself," the researchers write.
"Hispanic consumers spend more than an estimated $1 trillion per year, and they represent one of the largest and fastest growing demographic groups in the United States. Hispanic households also tend to be larger and younger than other households, making them an especially attractive market for consumer goods, including food."
It does make good business sense, the researchers noted.
"However, this research demonstrates that racial-ethnic targeted food marketing likely contributes to health disparities," they added.
None of the companies contacted by NBC News responded. Nor did the American Beverage Association, which represents soft drink makers.
"This research confirms public health concerns about food and beverage marketing targeted to black and Hispanic consumers, especially children and adolescents," the researchers concluded.
"Due to their greater exposure to media and food marketing, proposals to reduce unhealthy food marketing to youth and/or increase marketing of nutritious foods would also greatly benefit black and Hispanic youth. In addition, industry pledges to increase marketing of healthy products must include expansion of advertising in black- and Hispanic-targeted media, where healthier categories are currently significantly underrepresented."
"In 2014, on average, children ages 2 to 11 viewed 12.8 food and beverage ads per day on TV alone - almost 4,700 ads per year - and adolescents ages 12 to 17 viewed 15.2 ads per day," they wrote.
Source: Published originally on ABCNews.com as Black, Hispanic kids targeted by ads for soda and high-calorie drinks, August 11, 2015.
- Author: Ann King Filmer
Excess sugar consumption contributes to obesity, tooth decay, early menses in girls, and chronic diseases including diabetes and heart disease. To add to the damage, doctors are now attributing too much dietary sugar to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which can lead to cirrhosis of the liver.
It's enough to make you sit up and listen to the warnings about too much soda, sugary drinks, and sugar-laden processed foods.
What is a sugary drink? It's any beverage, more or less, with added sugar or other sweeteners, including high-fructose corn syrup. The long list of beverages includes soda, lemonade, fruit punch, powdered fruit drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, sweetened coffee and tea drinks, and many flavored milk products.
People are becoming aware of the concerns of too many sugary drinks, and steps are being taken to reduce their consumption. Some K-12 school districts across the nation are limiting sales of soda, and the City of Davis will soon require that restaurants offer milk or water as a first beverage choice with kids' meals.
UC Cooperative Extension, the county-based outreach arm of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, is partnering with health agencies and conducting public service programs for youth and families about sugary drinks. UC ANR Cooperative Extension in San Joaquin County recently presented a "Rethink Your Drink" parent workshop in conjunction with the county's Office of Education, and Solano County Cooperative Extension is working with the California Department of public health to engage youth in "Rethink Your Drink" programs.
Lucia Kaiser, UC ANR Cooperative Extension nutrition specialist, co-authored a policy brief about California's rural immigrants who have poor-quality tap water, or perceive tap water to be bad. Kaiser, who is also a nutrition faculty member at UC Davis, noted that studies have found a link between water quality and consumption of sugary drinks, which is a concern in low-income communities that don't have resources for clean water.
As of this month (July 2015), UC San Francisco is no longer selling sugary beverages on its campus, and UCSF has launched a Healthy Beverage Initiative. UC Berkeley held a Sugar Challenge this year, and UC Davis is conducting a Sugar Beverage Study on women.
Scientists at UC San Francisco, UC Davis, UC ANR's Nutrition Policy Institute, and other universities are studying the health effects of sugar and implementing health outreach programs. And UC's Global Food Initiative is building on the momentum of excessive sugary-drink consumption.
A healthy alternative to sugary drinks? Water, of course. Many universities and public places are replacing traditional drinking fountains with water stations so that students and others can fill their own bottles and have water “on the go.” And UC President Janet Napolitano is working with the Nutrition Policy Institute on a bold and sensible request to place water on the USDA's MyPlate nutrition guidelines.
The next time you're thirsty, drink wisely to your good health.
- Sugary drinks are hiding under a 'health halo'; UC ANR Food Blog, Aug. 6, 2014
- Nutrition Policy Institute, UC ANR
- UCSF Launches Sugar Science Initiative, a national initiative
- Learn the Facts about Sugar: How Sugar Impacts your Health, UCTV Video, May 2015
- The Hidden Costs of Sugar; UCSF news release, Nov. 2014
- Why Sugar? Why Now?, blog article by Laura Schmidt, UCSF
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
Researchers investigated the growing and often confusing list of supplements added to the drinks. In most cases, they found, the beverages provide little or no health benefits, and might be dangerous.
"Despite the positive connotation surrounding energy and sports drinks, these products are essentially sodas without the carbonation," said Patricia Crawford, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology at UC Berkeley.
The study looked at 21 popular drinks touted by manufacturers as "health and performance enhancing." In addition to sugar, caffeine, non-caloric sweeteners, sodium, vitamins and minerals, some drinks included the supplements guarana, ginseng, taurine, gingko biloba and ginger extract. Of the five herbal supplements, only ginger extract is classified as "likely safe" for children, Crawford said.
Because they contain caffeine, marketers promote the beverages as improving energy, concentration, endurance and performance. The study, however, documented harmful effects, such as increasing stress, nervousness, anxiety, headaches, insomnia, tremors, hallucinations and seizures.
"(Drink manufacturers') health marketing claims are the 21st Century equivalent of selling snake oil," said Harold Goldstein of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, which commissioned the study.
The full report is at http://www.publichealthadvocacy.org/healthhalo.html.