American Heart Association launches ad campaign highlighting dangers of sugary drinks

The American Heart Association launched an ad campaign in Massachusetts this week to raise awareness of the dangers of sugary drink consumption.

Throughout October, the Association will be running ads on two outlets that cover Massachusetts politics — Politico’s Massachusetts Playbook and the MASSter List. The ads feature an image of a bathtub with the tagline, “Kids have enough sugary drinks each year to fill a bathtub.”

The campaign was launched to coincide with the anticipated release of a Massachusetts health care bill that contains a tax on sugary drinks. The more sugar a drink contains per liquid ounce, the higher the drink would be taxed, according to The Boston Globe.

Earlier this year, the American Heart Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics released a joint policy statement highlighting the dangers of sugary drinks and recommending measures to reduce consumption. But before we get into that, let’s dive into the problem that exists:

According to Dr. Natalie Muth, lead author of the joint policy statement, the average American child drinks 30 gallons of sugary drinks every single year. That’s enough soda and sports drinks to fill a bathtub! When we multiply that amount by the number of kids living in America today, it would take more than 3,300 Olympic-size swimming pools to hold all that sugary liquid (and that’s just what kids will drink this year).

So, what can be done? Lots actually! This joint policy statement encourages excise taxes on sugary drinks and an educational campaign to curb consumption. The policy statement also urges reducing sugary drink marketing to kids, making healthier drinks the default beverages in kids’ meals and vending machines, providing health information on nutrition labels, menus and ads and encouraging hospitals to limit or discourage the purchase of sugary drinks. For more on this policy statement, click here.