Athletes Making Kids Fat: Majority Of Sports Endorsements for Junk Food
Researchers from Yale, Stanford, Duke and Harvard universities, studying marketing data from the year 2010 have uncovered a disturbing connection between celebrity athletes and the food products they're paid to endorse.
Athletes such as Peyton Manning, LeBron James and Serena Williams, are at the top of the list of those chosen to promote high calorie food and beverages, the bulk of which are targeted at young people.
Nearly 80% of the 49 food products were "energy-dense and nutrient-poor," and 93% of the 73 beverages got all of their calories from added sugar, according to the study, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
The researchers noted "a striking irony of having someone so physically fit as these athletes promoting such unhealthy foods," lead researcher Marie Bragg of Yale's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity said in a telephone interview.
And, they said, adolescents ages 12 to 17 were the group that saw the most of such commercials.
The irony is more than striking, it's striking down a huge percentage of the talent pool for future generations of athletes. Not to mention how it's become infinitely harder for young parents to make responsible food choices for their children.
In this day and age, self defense for children can no longer be simply a matter of teaching situational awareness, "stranger danger", and how to fight back against kidnappers or bullies. These threats are much less likely than the threat of their children being assaulted from all directions with clowns and rabbits and now athletes telling them how much they need to drown themselves in this swill.
Child abduction is rare. Child obesity is now common. And while it's important for your child to learn confidence, discipline, and all the other positive aspects of Martial Arts training, if you really want him or her to be safe, you'll keep their exposure to junk food marketing down to a minimum.
After all, junk food is a drug; an addictive, legal, and profitable drug. Why would you give a drug dealer several hours a day to pitch his products to your children?
The LA Times has the full article which you can read here.