Press Clips: The Kids Are Not Alright

14c14dd88076df0ef5dd338b43d9b661Study: Poison Control Centers Treating More Children for “Energy Drink Exposure”

A new study from the American Heart Association is reporting that more than 40 percent of calls to poison centers for “energy drink exposure” involve children under the age of six. Study author Steven Lipshultz, who is the professor and chair of pediatrics at Wayne State University and pediatrician-in-chief at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, called the findings “concerning, given the number of reports of serious cardiac and neurological symptoms.” The effects reported include seizures and abnormal heart rhythms. The researchers call for improved labeling of caffeine content and potential health consequences on energy drink products.

Food Think Tank: Soda Makers Continue to Target Minors

The war on sugary drinks is in full swing, but soft drink makers aren’t giving up on their potential future customers just yet. The Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity found that while soda makers have cut back on marketing to kids on several fronts, they are still spending hundreds of millions of dollars on the advertising of sugary drinks. The study also found that in 2013, beverage companies spent nearly four times more on advertising unhealthy drinks than they did on pure fruit juice and water. Additionally, the study found that some companies had actually increased their exposure to kids. “Preschoolers saw 39 percent more ads for PepsiCo’s sugary drinks in 2013 than in 2010; children aged 6 to 11 saw 25 percent more,” the researchers concluded.

Are Brazilian Billionaires Going To Buy Coca-Cola?

BrazilianTrio-1619x1940Brazilian investment firm 3G Capital is reportedly well on its way to establishing a new fund for investments in the food and beverage industry. According to Veja Magazine’s Geraldo Samor, the fund will have a total capital of $4 and $5 billion and could potentially lay the groundwork for a 3G takeover of Coca Cola, or the acquisition of a significant stake of the company. 3G, headed by billionaires Jorge Paulo Lemann, Marcel Herrmann Telles and Carlos Alberto Sicupira, is known for its longstanding interest in historic American brands, having acquired Burger King for $3.8 billion in 2010 and H.J. Heinz Company for $28 billion in 2013.

50-Year-Old Man Drinks 10 Cokes a Day; Probably Needs a Hobby

Speaking of Coca Cola, this week’s most shocking news comes out of Los Angeles, where it turns out that drinking ten Cokes a day is actually not good for you. Despite the fact that we all saw Super Size Me ten years ago, 50-year-old George Prior has taken it upon himself to drink 10 Cokes a day for 30 days to raise awareness about the dangers of sugar in the American diet. Three weeks in, Prior is reporting a 19 pound weight gain and a 60 percent increase in body fat.

Buying Organic, Whatever That Means

Fast Company magazine recently reported on a survey conducted by branding agency BFG, which examined the American consumer’s increasing obsession with organic products. BFG surveyed 300 grocery shoppers, and found that almost 70 percent of respondents were buying organic food in some capacity. However, only 20 percent of them claimed to know what “organic” meant. BFG researchers labeled more than half of its participants, most of whom were under 35, as “concerned, but confused.” Additionally, 59 percent claimed to be concerned about the presence of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in their foods, though only 32 percent could define what a GMO was. “What I think we’re seeing in grocery stores is that consumers are ultimately idealist,” said BFG CEO Kevin Meany.