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Children's Drinks Defined

According to Rudd Center research, children’s drinks are defined as drinks that companies market as intended for children to consume (in marketing to parents and/or directly to children). These can include drinks with or without added sweeteners:

Flavored Water

Flavored water beverages (as indicated on the       package) with added sweeteners.

Fruit Drinks

Fruit-flavored drink or juice drink with added sweeteners (may also have some juice).

100% Juice

Drink that consists of 100% juice (can be from concentrate).

Juice/Water Blends

Drink that contains a blend of juice or juice concentrates and water only.

Other Sugary Drinks:

According to Rudd Center research, sugary drinks are defined as drinks that are sweetened with sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, or other calorie-laden sweeteners. These can include:

Energy Drinks

Energy drinks are labeled by the manufacturer as “energy drinks” or “energy supplements” and contain high levels of caffeine (typically 80 mg or more per serving).

Iced Tea/ Coffee

Iced tea/coffee drinks include ready-to-serve drinks that are primarily described as “iced tea” or “coffee beverage” in the description of the product and contain added sugar.

Regular Soda

Regular Soda includes carbonated sugar-sweetened soft drinks with at least 2 grams of sugar per 8-ounce serving.


Sports Drinks

Sports drinks are marketed as drinks that should accompany physical activity. They carry the label “sports drink” or explicitly convey that the beverage should be consumed around physical activity, with phrases such as “for athletes,” “pre-game fuel,” and “post-game replenishment.”   According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, in most cases there is no need for children to drink sports drinks.