More than $1bn was spent on advertising sugary drinks and energy beverages in America back in 2018, a new report has shown.

The Sugary Drinks FACTS 2020 documents that spending on advertising these unhealthy drinks has gone up by 26 per cent when compared to how much was spent in 2013.

The authors from the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at the University of Connecticut said that reducing sugary drink consumption is a “key public health strategy to address the epidemic of diet-related diseases that threaten young people’s health and contribute to health disparities in communities of colour”.

With obesity being closely associated with type 2 diabetes, reducing sugar consumption might also have a big impact on the number of young people who are diagnosed in later life.

The report also found that companies are continuing to use their commercials to target teenagers and Hispanic and Black young people.

Current guidelines set out by the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends children and young people should not consume more than 25 grams of added sugar daily. But, the average amount of sugar in these junk drinks exceeds this amount.

In fact, sugar-sweetened energy drinks and regular soda had the highest average sugar content at 44 grams and 37 grams, respectively.

According to the data collected, is it thought that more than one-half of America’s youth population drink at least one sugary beverage on any given day.

The organisation has made a series of recommendations to target the sugary drink problem among young people.

These include lobbying the government, so it agrees to eliminate unhealthy food and sugary drink marketing to children as a tax-deductible corporate expense.

The Rudd Center is also calling for advertising campaigns to highlight that sports drinks, iced tea, flavoured water, and fruit drinks are also full of sugar and should be consumed with caution.

Dr Jennifer Harris, Study Lead Author and Senior Research Advisor at the Rudd Center, said: “Our findings demonstrate that beverage companies continue to target their advertising to Black and Hispanic communities, which exacerbates ongoing health disparities affecting those communities.

“Companies should not target communities of colour with advertising that almost exclusively promotes unhealthy products and undermines efforts to improve the long-term health of young people.”

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Learn how to reduce the amount of added sugar in your diet with the multi-award-winning, NHS approved Low Carb Program.

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