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Parents know they shouldn't give their kids Coke, but they do it anyway

(Shutterstock)
(Shutterstock)

Parents often buy their kids drinks that they seem to know aren't healthy, a new University of Connecticut study published in Public Health Nutrition finds.

The online survey polled nearly 1,000 parents of children between the ages of 2 and 17 about what drinks they give their children and how healthy they think they are.

The researchers speculate that a big reason for this gap in what parents buy and what they actually think is the massive marketing campaigns advertising sweet drinks to kids. In 2010, $443 million was spent on promoting sugary beverages, with adolescents seeing an average of 406 TV ads for them each year, according to one study.

Parents might be giving their kids unhealthy drinks without even realizing it. Drinks that seem healthy, or that are marketed to look better for you than they are, often are actually packed with sugar: 20 ounces of Sobe, a flavored water, has about the same amount of sugar as 20 ounces of Coke.

("Hiding Under a Health Halo")

Drinks with loads of added sugar have been found to increase a person's risk for obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, among other problems.