US Athletes are Endorsing Unhealthy Foods and Drinks
Researchers at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University have compiled a list of endorsement deals for the top 100 athletes in the U.S. based upon BusinessWeek’s 2010 Power 100 report.There were 122 food and beverage brands endorsed by athletes of which 62 were foods. Of the 62 foods researchers found that 49 were high in calories and low in nutritional value. There were 46 sports drinks, sodas and beverages endorsed and in 43 of them the calories came entirely from sugar.
The majority of athletes which endorsed the products were from the NBA and NFL. LeBron James had more food and drink endorsements than any other athletes, he was followed by quarterback Peyton Manning and tennis star Serena Williams.
The author of the study, Marie Bragg, said that it’s ironic that some of the most physically fit people on the planet are promoting unhealthy foods and drinks; she says that it’s a combination which “sends mixed messages about diet and health.”
Bragg concluded that, “Professional athletes have an important opportunity to promote the public’s health, particularly for youth, by refusing endorsement contracts that involve promotion of energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods and beverage.”