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Health

This Is How YOU are Targeted By The Soda Industry

Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University talks about the subject of one of her books, Soda Politics, in which she explains the culture surrounding sodas in the U.S.

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"The branding issue is very important because if you do... blind taste tests, between Coke and Pepsi, for example, nobody can tell the difference, people think they can, but they are guessing and it will be a matter of chance."

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Kevin C. Cox Mario Tama Joe Raedle Getty Images Justin Sullivan Tim Boyle
TRANSCRIPT This transcript was generated by AudioBurst technologies

How much sugar do we consume in this country in the form of soda? - Well, sodas account for a third of total sugar intake and if you count all sugar sweetened beverages, teas, flavored milks and so forth, it's half. - Wow, half. So demographically, who drinks the most soda? - Well the industry is very clear about that, and it publishes all these data on it, but sodas track with cigarettes, the same people who smoke cigarettes are the ones who drink sodas, and they tend to be young male, working class, not very well educated, and not having very much money. But because that's the demographic, and I should say that minorities are the other big demographic who are soda drinkers, much of the marketing is targeted to young males and to people in minority groups, because that's where the sales are. - How important is it to get the customer when they are young? - Well the soda companies think that if they can get people when they are young, then they will have brand loyalty to that particular brand forever and the branding issue is very important because if you do taste tests, blind taste tests, between Coke and Pepsi, for example, nobody can tell the difference, people think they can, but they are guessing and it will be a matter of chance. But people have passionate feelings about which one they like better, that's the brand part. - And does it go beyond brand to the urge to drink it at all? - Well the, if you're advertising that you should have this delicious cold drink and people do love the taste of these things, then that's going to make you want to drink. I went to Coca-Cola World in Atlanta not too long ago, and was just amazed to watch all the commercials which don't really talk about sodas very much, they just mark moments of intense emotion in people's lives that are celebrated with, in that case, Coca-Cola. You're not even thinking about it, you're not supposed to be thinking about it, you're supposed to just feel it.