Walking down the drink aisle at any grocery store will take you past hundreds of drinks, from sodas to sports drinks. Children’s drink sections are filled with a vast array of products as well. Most parents want to buy what is healthy for their children, but with so many options in the drink aisle, it can be difficult to make the right choice — especially when drink companies make it hard to do so.

I am a researcher at the UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy and Health, and I’ve studied how food is marketed to kids and parents of young children for more than a decade. Companies spend huge sums advertising children’s drinks with added sweeteners. Despite the sweeteners, companies market these drinks as healthy choices for kids.

Fran Fleming-Milici is director of marketing initiatives for the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Health at the University of Connecticut. She wrote this for The Conversation, an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.

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