The Food Advertising to Children and Teens Score (FACTS) was developed to scientifically measure food marketing to youth. While young people are exposed to marketing for a variety of food products, sugary drinks were chosen to be evaluated using FACTS because they are the most unhealthy food product marketed to children. Sugary drinks are marketed aggressively and relentlessly to children through traditional forms of media, social media, sponsored events, emotional appeals, and brand engagement. This has become a serious concern due to the considerable role sugary drinks play in the diets of young people.
Food marketing to children negatively influences children's dietary intake and contributes to the childhood obesity epidemic. This public health issue was recently recognized in the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity and in 2006 by the Institute of Medicine and the World Health Organization. In 2006, beverage companies joined the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) and pledged to improve child-directed advertising. In one of these pledges, Coca-Cola states that they "will not place any of [their] brands' marketing in television, radio and print programming that is primarily directed to children under the age of 12 and where the audience profile is higher than 35% of children under 12."
Despite industry self-regulation pledges, children are exposed to more - not less - advertising for sugary drinks than they were in 2008. Beverage companies are finding sneaky and sophisticated new ways to reach youth.
Sugary Drink FACTS was developed based on the best available science, in consultation with a steering committee of experts in nutrition, marketing, and public health. To explore the study findings with rankings and search tools, visit the Consumers page. To learn more about the science behind Sugary Drink FACTS, visit the Researchers page and read the full report.
Sugary Drink FACTS Report
Sugary Drink FACTS Report Summary