Getting kids hooked on sugary beverages

Getting kids hooked on sugary beverages

The prevalence of obesity in the United States among those 40-59 and over 60 years of age is an extremely high 41-43% and about 19% for those under 20 (as of 2016). Rates of type 2 diabetes are rapidly increasing today for adolescents.

How did we get to this point?

One way–big Tobacco companies bought up food companies and manipulated and marketed heavily sweetened/artificial flavor beverages (like Tang, Capri Sun, Kool-Aid, and more) to children from the 1960’s through the early 2000’s (many of these brands have now passed to other companies … who are continuing this marketing today in the U.S. and globally).

“Cigarette companies were frequently introducing new flavored products, and many of the chemicals that went into cherry-scented chewing tobacco and apple-flavored cigarettes [as examples] found their way into children’s drinks.” The goal of these manipulations and marketing was “to leave people wanting more.”

People were hooked on sugary beverages. The very adult age groups in the United States with obesity rates in the 40% range today were children in the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s.

Read the article (Andrew Jacobs, New York Times, 14 March 2019).

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