3136.0 The Biology, Marketing and Politics of Sugar-sweetened Beverages: How Communities can Protect Young People from a Significant Public Health Threat

Monday, October 31, 2011: 10:30 AM
Overview: Overconsumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) poses a significant public health threat. Beverages are the largest source of added sugar in young people’s diets, and SSB consumption is associated with increased energy intake and body weight, worse overall nutrition, and numerous negative health outcomes. Although major beverage companies have joined the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) self-regulatory program to reduce unhealthy marketing to children, SSBs continue to be one of the most-marketed food categories to children and adolescents. In their attempt to create lifelong loyal customers, beverage companies counteract public health efforts to reduce SSB consumption. In this session, we will present scientific evidence on the many pathways through which SSB consumption negatively impacts young people’s health and effective interventions to reduce individuals’ consumption. We will also quantify 2010 youth exposure to national SSB marketing programs including traditional television advertising, product placements, and social media; and describe community-based marketing practices targeted to young people such as in-store promotions, product packaging, and local sponsorships. Strengths and limitations of beverage companies’ CFBAI pledges will be evaluated. We will then explain how the First Amendment applies to restrictions on marketing and suggest alternative forms of innovative regulation of SSBs available to state and local governments. The session concludes with a discussion of the technical and political challenges of attempting to reduce SSB consumption in local communities, and summary of approaches being used in New York City and by other local governments.
Session Objectives: 1) Explain the latest scientific evidence on the harmful effects of sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption on children and adolescents. 2) Assess current SSB marketing to young people at the national and community level. 3) Identify legal and practical options for communities to reduce marketing of SSBs and young people's consumption of them.
Jennifer Harris, PhD, MBA
Lynn D. Silver, MD, MPH

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Organized by: Food and Nutrition
Endorsed by: Maternal and Child Health, Socialist Caucus

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)

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