Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Powerful Marketing Unveiled - Sugar Sweetened Beverages

>> Wednesday, May 1, 2013

On this first day of the Canadian Obesity Summit, I had the pleasure of attending a workshop discussing the impact of sugar sweetened beverages on our health, and the impact that the powerful marketing of beverage companies has on the choices we make.

We harp on sweetened drinks as a source of 'empty calories', meaning that sugary drinks provide carbohydrates in the form of simple sugars, without providing much in terms of other nutritional value.  Dr Tom Warshawski pointed out to us that studies show that when a person drinks a sugary drink, they do eat less calories than they would have if they had consumed water instead, but this compensation is incomplete - meaning that the overall calorie intake is still higher with the sugary drink than it would have been if the person had consumed water.  He also pointed out that sugary drinks do not help us to feel full, meaning we are likely to eat sooner (and therefore more overall) than if we had eaten something (healthy) instead of drinking the sugary drink in the first place.

Perhaps some of the most poignant information that came out of this session was the discussion about the powerful marketing campaigns that push sweetened beverages upon us.  In 2004, the US junk food industry spent nearly 1200 times more money than the government campaign promoting the '5 A Day' fruit and vegetable campaign.  In 2006, $4 billion dollars was spent in the US on soft drink advertising - imagine if this kind of funding could be put towards dietary counseling for people who struggle with their weight!  There is a particular drive by the industry to target youth, as this 'ensures the future' of their brand. :(    From color to name to font to location of vending machines to where/when/how they advertise ... it's all a premeditated psychological orchestra geared to make us consume more.

Consumer warfare abounds in other ways, too.  Over the last 30 years in Canada, fresh fruits and veggies have gotten more expensive, whereas sweetened beverages have gotten cheaper.  When deciding between purchasing pop vs water, one can't help but notice that 1L of pop costs an average of $1, much less than the average of $2.50 per L of bottled water (how exactly does taking water and adding sugar and chemicals to it make it cheaper??).

The industry had their say during this meeting as well - in fact, many employees of Coca Cola were in attendance at the workshop, and this served to generate quite interesting debate!  On that note, there has been a lot of discussion as to whether or not it's appropriate to have food industry members like Coke and McDonald's present (and supporting) the Canadian Obesity Summit.  In my opinion, it's important to have all stakeholders at the table as we discuss obesity in Canada, especially the food industry - for without their cooperation, our struggles against our toxic obesigenic environment are unlikely to change.

Dr Sue Pedersen © 2013 

Follow me on Twitter for daily tips! @drsuepedersen



I am excited that you have arrived at my site, and I hope you are too - consider this the first step towards a Healthier New You!! As a medical doctor, Endocrinologist, and obesity specialist, I am absolutely passionate about helping people with weight management. Though there is certainly no magic cure for obesity, there IS a successful treatment plan out there for you - it is all about understanding the elements that contribute to your personal weight struggle, and then finding the treatment plan that suits your needs and your lifestyle. The way to finding your personal solution is to learn as much as you can about obesity: how our toxic environment has shaped us into an overweight society; the diversity of contributors to obesity; and what the treatment options out there are really all about. Knowledge Is Power!!

Are you ready to change your life? Let's begin our journey together, towards a healthier, happier you!!

  © Blogger templates Palm by 2008

Back to TOP