YALE STUDY: MINORITIES TARGETED BY ADS FOR SUGARY DRINKS; ‘RUDD CENTER’ WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN LANDMARK SCHOOL NUTRITION LAW

Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity—an entity that has worked closely with the Connecticut Legislature on a landmark law—is out with a new study that says U.S. children and teenagers are seeing far more soda advertising than before, with blacks and Hispanics being major targets with marketers utilizing online media.

MSNBC reports, “Children’s and teens’ exposure to full-calorie soda ads on television doubled from 2008 to 2010, the report found, fueled by increases from Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc….African-American children and teenagers saw 80 to 90 percent more ads than white children, including twice as many for the energy drink 5-Hour Energy and Coca-Cola’s vitamin water and Sprite…Over the same period, Hispanic children saw 49 percent more ads for sugary drinks and energy drinks on Spanish-language television, and Hispanic teens saw 99 percent more ads.”

Yale’s Rudd Center was consulted and involved in state Senate President Don Williams’ landmark School Nutrition Law that incentivizes school districts to serve healthy foods. It also got rid of sugary drinks in vending machines.

The Shad was working in the Senate Dem Caucus when the bill was formulated and passed. The driving force behind the effort was staff attorney Joel Rudikoff, a passionate and accomplished legislative lawyer. Overcoming an initial veto by Gov. Jodi Rell, Sen. Williams, Rudikoff and others made adjustments so the bill would pass.

Williams had great foresight on the issue. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 15 percent of in the country are overweight or obese.