Athletes' endorsements may be ruining kids health - New York News

Athletes' endorsements may be ruining kids health

Updated:
By Rudi Riet, "randomduck" via flickr. Athletes are endorsing less-than-healthy foods and drinks, but are sports drinks all that bad? By Rudi Riet, "randomduck" via flickr. Athletes are endorsing less-than-healthy foods and drinks, but are sports drinks all that bad?

By: Michael De Groote, Deseret News

Nothing says "healthy" like athletes at the top of their game. Unfortunately, a new study published Oct. 7 indicates the products some professional athletes are hawking to kids are less than healthy.

"One of the perks of being a professional athlete is that you get paid the big bucks to endorse products," says Mary Beth Quirk at Consumerist, "based on the premise that your fans will buy anything you put your name on."

"Professional athletes in general are endorsing a lot of unhealthy foods, which is concerning for a country that's struggling with obesity," study author Marie Bragg, a researcher at Yale told USA Today.

Bragg and her co-authors conducted the study using Bloomberg Businessweek listing of top 100 athletes in 2010. Those 100 athletes endorsed 513 brands - 24 percent of which were food and beverages.

According to the study in Pediatrics, "The nutritional quality of the foods featured in athlete-endorsement advertisements was assessed by using a Nutrient Profiling Index, whereas beverages were evaluated on the basis of the percentage of calories from added sugar."

"Seventy-nine percent of the 62 food products in athlete-endorsed advertisements were energy-dense and nutrient-poor, and 93.4 percent of the 46 advertised beverages had 100 percent of calories from added sugar," the study found. "Peyton Manning (professional American football player) and LeBron James (professional basketball player) had the most endorsements for energy-dense, nutrient-poor products."

The study says kids see these ads more than adults - raising questions about the targeting of adolescents with less healthy choices.

Michael Jacobson, executive director of the advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest, told USA Today he hopes this research will "inspire some reflection on the part of athletes and professional sports leagues - as well as all other celebrities for that matter."

As USA Today points out, those "nutrient poor" drinks include things like Sprite and Pepsi-Cola but also Powerade and Gatorade sports drinks.

As far as the sports drinks go, WebMD says, "Sports drinks like Gatorade, Powerade and All Sport can give you a needed energy boost during your activity. They are designed to rapidly replace fluids and to increase the sugar (glucose) circulating in your blood."

"The thing that works best is a drink," Barbara Lewin, RD, LD, a sports nutritionist who works with professional and Olympic athletes, tells Huffington Post in an article that explores cheaper alternatives to sports drinks. "It's a contradiction, but you really do need the calories to perform well. … The calories are what's enabling you to work out at your best. If you're not well-fueled, you're not going to work out as hard."

EMAIL: mdegroote@deseretnews.com

Twitter: @degroote

Facebook: facebook.com/madegroote


Original Post

Copyright 2013 Deseret Digital Media, Inc.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Summit at City Hall on police-community relations

    Summit at City Hall on police-community relations

    Thursday, July 31 2014 1:20 PM EDT2014-07-31 17:20:15 GMT
    Ways to improve the relationship between the NYPD and communities in New York City was at the center of a forum held Thursday at City Hall. Mayor Bill de Blasio, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, Rev. Al Sharpton, city officials and community leaders attended the round-table. Accusations of police brutality and the death of a man under arrest for selling un-taxed cigarettes on Staten Island prompted the discussion.
    Ways to improve the relationship between the NYPD and communities in New York City was at the center of a forum held Thursday at City Hall. Mayor Bill de Blasio, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, Rev. Al Sharpton, city officials and community leaders attended the round-table. Accusations of police brutality and the death of a man under arrest for selling un-taxed cigarettes on Staten Island prompted the discussion.
  • Workers trapped in trench collapse

    Workers trapped in trench collapse

    Thursday, July 31 2014 1:19 PM EDT2014-07-31 17:19:38 GMT
    Two construction workers were rescued from a collapsed trench outside a home in Rye, N.Y. on Thursday.  Firefighters from across Westchester County responded to the scene at 15 Bradford Ave. at about noon.
    Two construction workers were rescued from a collapsed trench outside a home in Rye, N.Y. on Thursday.  Firefighters from across Westchester County responded to the scene at 15 Bradford Ave. at about noon.
  • Woman plunges to death over cliff in Catskills

    Woman plunges to death over cliff in Catskills

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:57 PM EDT2014-07-31 16:57:07 GMT
    New York State NewsNew York State News
    Authorities say a 23-year-old woman trying to take a picture by the edge of a cliff in the Catskill Mountains died after falling more than 150 feet.
    Authorities say a 23-year-old woman trying to take a picture by the edge of a cliff in the Catskill Mountains died after falling more than 150 feet.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices