DearColleague.us

Letter

Edward Markey

From the office of:

Edward Markey

From: The Honorable Rosa L. DeLauro
Sent By: clair.briggs@mail.house.gov
Bill: H.R. 5279
Date: 11/21/2014

ICYMI: Yale Releases Report on Sugary Drink Marketing to Kids

Dear Colleague,

I write to share Sugary Drink FACTS 2014, a new report by the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity on sugary drink nutrition and marketing to children. The report highlights some shocking information regarding the aggressive marketing of sugar-sweetened beverages to children and teens, and suggests we have a long way to go to improve company marketing practices as well as the nutritional quality of their products.

Related Stories
Rep. DeLauro’s Press Release
7/29 NY Times Op-Ed: Introducing the National Soda Tax

Among the report’s key findings:

  • Beverage companies spend four times as much to advertise unhealthy drinks as they did to advertise 100 percent fruit juice or water.
  • A typical children’s drink contains 16 grams of sugar, more than recommended for an entire day.
  • Some children’s drinks may feature reduced sugar but many (36%) contain artificial sweeteners.
  • Sugary drink and energy drink brands are extensively using Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to reach youth.
  • Beverage companies continue to target Black and Latino youth, who have higher rates of obesity than white youth.

Based on these findings, the authors of the report recommend that 1) Companies stop marketing sugary drinks and energy drinks to children, 2) Parents ignore all the marketing claims on drink packages and check ingredient lists on for added sugar, artificial sweeteners, and juice content and 3) Policy makers require transparent product labeling, including calories, added sugar, and artificial sweetener content on the front of all packaging.

As legislators, we have a responsibility to regulate the marketing of and consumption of sugary beverages by children. To that end, I am proud to have previously introduced a bill (H.R. 2831) to end subsidies for marketing unhealthy foods to children and the SWEET Act (H.R. 5279), which would impose a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages to fund prevention programs. I urge you to join me in this important effort; for more information or to cosponsor either bill, please contact Kelly Horton, on my staff, at 202-225-3661 or kelly.horton@mail.house.gov.

Sincerely,

Rosa L. DeLauro

Member of Congress