Unhealthy food marketed to youth through athlete endorsements

Yale News:

Professional athletes are often paid large amounts of money to endorse commercial products. But the majority of the food and beverage brands endorsed by professional athletes are for unhealthy products like sports beverages, soft drinks, and fast food, according to a new study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale. The study appears in the November issue of Pediatrics.

Analyzing data collected in 2010 from Nielson and AdScope, an advertisement database, the study reveals that adolescents aged 12 to 17 viewed the most television ads for food endorsed by athletes. Previous research by public health advocates has criticized the use of athlete endorsements in food marketing campaigns for often promoting unhealthy food and sending mixed messages to youth about health, but this is the first study to examine the extent and reach of such marketing.

Bragg and co-authors assert that professional athletes should be aware of the health value of the products they are endorsing, and should use their status and celebrity to promote healthy messages to youth.

Other authors include Swati Yanamadala, Christina Roberto, and Jennifer L. Harris of the Rudd Center at Yale, and Kelly Brownell of Duke University.

Read the whole story: Yale News

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