This study aimed to test the effects of countermarketing videos addressing common misperceptions about ingredients and claims on children’s sugary drinks. An online randomized controlled experiment was conducted in January 2021 with US caregivers (n = 600) of young children (aged 8‒37 months) to assess the effects of watching countermarketing versus control videos on intentions to serve sugary and healthy drinks (6-point scales) and attitudes (10-point scales) about fruit drinks and toddler milks. The countermarketing videos significantly reduced positive attitudes about fruit drinks (mean difference = 0.92) and toddler milks (mean difference = 2.10), reduced intentions to serve both (mean difference = 0.50 and 0.92, respectively), and increased intentions to serve plain milk (mean difference = 0.52) versus control videos (all Ps < .001). The videos were more effective for toddler milks versus fruit drinks, and effects on fruit drink intentions were greater for Black versus White caregivers and caregivers of children aged 24 months or younger.
Published: October 2022
ID #: 76374
Journal: Am J Public Health
Authors: Harris JL, Phaneuf L, Fleming-Milici F
Marketing of sugar-sweetened children’s drinks and parents’ misperceptions about benefits for young childrenDespite expert recommendations, U.S. parents often serve sugar-sweetened children’s drinks, including sweetened fruit-flavored drinks and toddler milks, to young children. This qualitative research explored parents’ understanding of common marketing tactics used to promote these drinks and whether they mislead parents to believe the drinks are healthy and/or necessary for children. We conducted nine focus groups More