It may seem contradictory, but more often than not athletes can be seen endorsing foods and beverages that aren’t really all that healthy. A new study published in the journal Pediatrics shines a light on the prevalence of athlete-endorsed junk foods and the effects it can have on the consumer.
Fox News reports about the study that warns about how having an athlete endorse an unhealthy product can “lend it a health halo”. Seeing an athlete endorse a food high in calories, fat and sugar can give the idea that they consume the product too.
Pediatrician Michael Rich explains what consumers come away with after viewing these ads, especially when teens or children see their favorites sports star chowing down on junk food. Rich says, “There's an implicit message that the athletes actually use these products, and that (the products) are healthy.” He adds, “…kids are much more likely to see TV ads than to read nutrition labels on products.”
Researchers found that Peyton Manning, Serena Williams, and LeBron James can be seen endorsing the greatest number of unhealthy foods and beverages. These sports super stars are likely getting millions of dollars for the relatively easy work of performing in junk food commercials. The easy payday is the reason why it’s unlikely they will give it up any time soon. But there are things parents can do to bring their kids back to reality of what’s healthy and what’s not. Rich explains, “Let them know, just because Peyton Manning is sitting by a jug of Gatorade, that doesn't mean Gatorade made him what he is today.”
What do you think of athletes endorsing unhealthy foods and beverages?
Do you think when athletes endorse junk food people can be fooled into thinking the food is healthier than it really is?