Fight Childhood Obesity: Regulate Soft Drink Advertising

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Target: Food and Drug Administration

Goal: Restrict soft drink advertisements aimed at children and parents.

America’s sugar addiction is considered by many to be the root of our country’s biggest health problems. As syrupy drinks and sweet snacks continue to fill grocery shelves, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer rates soar. It’s estimated that three out of four federal dollars spent on health care now go to treating diseases caused by excess sugar consumption. And of the people affected by sugar’s ballooning role in the American diet, none is more vulnerable to the effects of widespread advertising than children.

We’ve seen childhood obesity rates skyrocket in recent years–so much so that many experts are now considering the disease to be an epidemic. But while sugar may be toxic, it remains unregulated across the country. Children are free to consume as much of the dangerous, addictive substance as their parents will allow–and beverage companies are keen to see that they do.

By hooking children on soda and other soft drinks at an early age, large beverage companies see enormous profits. They also see a rise in early-onset health problems among the country’s youngest and most vulnerable consumers. Sugar-laden beverages that offer no nutritional value need to be considered a controlled substance, like alcohol or tobacco, with restrictions on how they may be advertised. The ubiquitousness of soft drink advertising destroys the health of our country’s children, preparing them for a lifetime of disease. It’s time we regulated how and where soft drink advertising may be displayed. Tell the Food and Drug Administration to impose restrictions on beverage advertising by signing the petition below today.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Food and Drug Administration,

Our nation’s most pressing health issues stem from one source: the sugar-infested American diet. Although sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup and other additives may be ubiquitous in the households of most Americans, medical research has demonstrated that it contributes to deadly conditions like obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and many cancers.

It’s not just adult consumers who are affected by sugar’s pervasiveness. Most people develop the habit of drinking soda on a daily basis as children. Because soda and other addictive sugary beverages are aggressively marketed to children as well as adults, beverage companies are able to secure lifelong loyalty from their consumers–at the expense of their own health.

Like tobacco and alcohol, sodas and other sweetened beverages are habit-forming, health-destroying substances. Hooking children on sugary drinks raises profits for large beverage companies, but costs the healthcare industry millions in treating preventable diseases. It’s time we quelled our country’s obesity epidemic at the source. I ask that you regulate soft drink advertising and prevent beverage companies from targeting children as consumers.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Marlith via Wikimedia Commons.

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