Campaign Exposes Sugary Beverage Marketing Tactics

Dentistry Today


A counter-campaign sponsored by the Rethink Sugary Drink Alliance aims to expose how beverage companies market and advertise their products to convince adolescent and young adult males between the ages of 12 and 24 to rethink how many sugary drinks they consume.

While the campaign’s imagery isn’t easy on the eyes or ears, it is designed to cut through the polished ads that beverage companies use to bombard this audience and highlight how these consumers are being conned, said Craig Sinclair, head of prevention at Cancer Council Victoria, which is one of Rethink Sugary Drink’s partners.

“We know young Australians are hooked on sugary drinks. One in six teens down at least 5.2 kilograms of added sugar from sugary drinks alone every year,” Sinclair said.

“Getting swept up by the beverage industry’s marketing game could mean young Aussies have signed themselves up to unhealthy weight gain, increasing their risk of battling serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart and kidney disease, stroke, and 13 types of cancer later in life,” Sinclair said.

Launching on a range of digital platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, the Full of Crap campaign aims to crush glorified perceptions of sugary drinks and alert young men to their dangerously high levels of sugar and the health harm that can come from consuming them, including oral health.

One in three males (32.1%) between the ages of 15 and 34 have untreated tooth decay, reports the Australian Dental Association, a Rethink Sugary Drink partner.

Dr. Mikaela Chinotti, oral health promoter at the Australian Dental Association, has seen the devastating impact that sugary beverages have on the teeth of teens and young adults and wants Australians to consider the health consequences of drinking too many.

“Some people may not realize every time they take a sip from a sugary drink that they expose their teeth to an acid attack, dissolving the outer surface of our tooth enamel,” Chinotti said.

“This regular loss of enamel and exposure to sugar can lead to tooth erosion and cavities, which can cause teeth to become very sensitive, painful, or even affect their appearance,” said Chinotti.

The campaign offers yet another reason for Australians to rethink their choice of drink, Chinotti said.

“Simply cutting back on sugary drinks or removing them entirely from the diet will allow our teeth to be much stronger and healthier,” she said. “By not falling for the nonsense sugary drink companies are selling and going for water instead, your body will thank you in the long run.”

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