Young children regularly consume sugary fruit drinks, in part because parents may falsely believe they are healthful due to front-of-package (FOP) claims and imagery. The goal of this study was to assess: 1) the prevalence of FOP claims/imagery on fruit-flavored beverages purchased by U.S. households with 0-5-year-olds, and 2) proportional differences in beverages purchased with FOP claims/imagery across household demographic groups. A content analysis of FOP claims/imagery (e.g., nutrient claims, fruit imagery) on beverages (n = 1365) purchased by households with 0-5-year-olds was conducted by linking beverage sales with FOP marketing data. Results were merged with purchasing data from a nationally representative sample of households (FoodAPS), and survey-weighted logistic regression was used to assess differences in the proportions of 100% juices and fruit drinks with specific FOP claims/imagery purchased by household race/ethnicity, income, and SNAP/WIC participation. The most common claims on fruit-flavored beverages included nutrient claims, which most commonly highlighted vitamin C and the absence of sugar. Most beverages also contained implied-natural claims and natural imagery. A large proportion of fruit drinks and 100% juices purchased by households across all demographic groups contained FOP claims and imagery, with a few minor differences between racial/ethnic groups. In conclusion, most fruit drinks, 100% juices, and flavored waters purchased by households with 0-5-year-olds contained FOP claims and imagery that may lead consumers to believe the beverages are healthy and natural. FDA regulations should ensure parents are not misled by this marketing.
Published: January 2022
ID #: 76336
Authors: Musicus AA, Hua SV, Moran AJ, Duffy EW, Hall MG, Roberto CA, Dillman Carpentier FR, Sorscher S, Wootan MG, Taillie LS, Rimm EB
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
The Impact of Pictorial Health Warnings on Purchases of Sugary Drinks for Children: A Randomized Controlled TrialThis study aimed to examine the impact of pictorial warnings on parents’ purchases of sugary drinks for their children in a naturalistic store laboratory. Parents of children ages 2 to 12 (n = 325, 25% identifying as Black, 20% Hispanic) completed a shopping task in a naturalistic store laboratory in North Carolina. Participants were randomly More