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  1. 5
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    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.

    FTA:

    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.

  2. CapnMunchh is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/07/2013 6:43pm

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    Can't just blame the athletes though. The comment to the Times article makes a good point:

    "We are the idiots. Why we follow like loyal dogs with wagging tails and spend billions to watch a bunch of adults play games astounds me. We literally pee on the floor like an excited toy poodle when we see our favorite athlete in person. Get a life. Play a sport of your own, or go watch a local game where you either know the kids or you are friends with the adults playing. In other words, get a life."

    The athletes derive their power to do what they do in part because adults communicate the attitude to their kids that they should look up to these people, and that watching team sports on tv is the equivalent of worship before the altar.

    I enjoy watching a game now and then, tho not as much as the parents of my kids' friends. When he was little my son asked me why I was "not into sports" like other dads. I pointed out that I was into martial sports, that I spent a lot of time in outdoor sports, and that what most people considered "being into sports" was really "being into sitting on the couch watching television." I'm happy to say he got the message. He played ice hockey all thru high school, and has been practicing BJJ for the last four years.
  3. Phrost is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/07/2013 6:48pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I completely agree. The flaw is a culture-wide one.

    The main point is that if you live in a dangerous neighborhood, you teach your children to be aware of the threats they may face and do what you can to keep them protected from those threats. The United States, culturally, is a dangerous neighborhood, so you have to take the same steps as a parent.
  4. CapnMunchh is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/07/2013 7:01pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phrost View Post
    I completely agree. The flaw is a culture-wide one.

    The main point is that if you live in a dangerous neighborhood, you teach your children to be aware of the threats they may face and do what you can to keep them protected from those threats. The United States, culturally, is a dangerous neighborhood, so you have to take the same steps as a parent.
    Our food culture is dangerous for adults too, and very hard to get around. Most of what is sold in the supermarkets is little better than slow poison. Even tho I know that I shouldn't be eating all the processed, artificially sweetened and flavored garbage, it takes a lot of effort to plan a week's worth of healthy meals and completely avoid the unhealthy stuff.

    It becomes almost impossible to convince your kids that they shouldn't eat what all their friends eat, at home and in school, and provide something that's healthy and acceptable to them. It's the nail in the coffin when the athletes get on tv and push the stuff.
  5. Mr.HoneyBadger is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/08/2013 12:25am


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    Whenever I bring this issue up with friends and family, the response is always something akin to "Well hey, they gotta make money you know."

    Right. Because Professional athletes make NO money whatsoever from playing football, basketball, etc.
  6. Permalost is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/08/2013 11:30am

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    I think that pro sports loving kids are primarily the result of overenthusiastic parents who steer their kids into liking what they like (or want their kids to be active and/or masculine). Left to their own devices, I think only a small percentage of kids would give a **** about pro sports and its athletes.
  7. OwlMatt is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/08/2013 1:24pm


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    Quote Originally Posted by Permalost View Post
    I think that pro sports loving kids are primarily the result of overenthusiastic parents who steer their kids into liking what they like (or want their kids to be active and/or masculine). Left to their own devices, I think only a small percentage of kids would give a **** about pro sports and its athletes.
    I certainly didn't care much about pro sports until long after I was old enough to know what healthy food is. I'm sure there are kids who are competitive athletes who idolize professional competitive athletes, but I doubt that's most kids.

    What's more, I think that if, as a little kid in Houston, I'd told my parents I wanted to eat junk food because I saw Warren Moon or Hakeem Olajuwon do it on TV, my mother would have started a conversation about what pro athletes actually eat, and my father would have told me to shut up and listen to my mother, and that would have been the end of it.
  8. alex is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/09/2013 4:07am

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    Quote Originally Posted by CapnMunchh View Post
    Our food culture is dangerous for adults too, and very hard to get around. Most of what is sold in the supermarkets is little better than slow poison. Even tho I know that I shouldn't be eating all the processed, artificially sweetened and flavored garbage, it takes a lot of effort to plan a week's worth of healthy meals and completely avoid the unhealthy stuff.
    it actually isnt.

    It becomes almost impossible to convince your kids that they shouldn't eat what all their friends eat, at home and in school, and provide something that's healthy and acceptable to them. It's the nail in the coffin when the athletes get on tv and push the stuff.

    if you are of age to be making money you are old enough to know mcdonalds is **** for you. if you arent, then why are you giving your kids money to buy **** food?

    i never got given money as a kid unless i earned it, and theres no fucking way i was gonna waste the 5c i got per dog **** i picked up from the garden on mcdonalds. you know how many dog shits i would have to fondle to buy a fucking 5 dollar combo? 100 shits. and our dogs ate some fucked up stuff. i had to pull plastic bags out of our deerhounds ass on more than one occasion because it was thick and suicidal, and i still only got 5c for that. When I bought anything as a child it had to REALLY be worth it.

    what im trying to say is, if you dont want your kids to eat bad food, make them pick up animal **** for money. you learn values.
  9. 1point2 is online now
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    Posted On:
    10/09/2013 4:28am

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    Quote Originally Posted by OwlMatt View Post
    I think that if, as a little kid in Houston, I'd told my parents I wanted to eat junk food because I saw Warren Moon or Hakeem Olajuwon do it on TV, my mother would have started a conversation about what pro athletes actually eat, and my father would have told me to shut up and listen to my mother, and that would have been the end of it.
    The idea that advertising works on such a conscious level is dramatically mistaken. This is particularly true for children. The purpose of this kind of ad is to internalize the association between Athlete and Brand at a level below language and rational thought. They don't want you to say "I want to eat junk food because Hakeem did it", they just want to put "hip" and "athletic" closer to Brand in your wiring.

    The problem with Phrost's framing of the issue as cultural, and the solution therefore individual, is that it absolves us of the responsibility of fixing the problem systemically. I happen to have serendipitously stumbled across an article that addresses this phenomenon. I have paraphrased it for clarity:

    When people identify political and social problems as moral, they interpret that to suggest that reform will come from each individual looking into his own heart. From a political standpoint, this should be unsurprising.... It's never about failing institutions, political economies, or social conditions. No, it's about individuals making bad choices and about the public tolerating (read: tacitly consenting to) such behavior. The prescription is not political change--we of course have the best system possible--but calls for everyone to look within.
    The fact of the matter is that advertising works. Sorry. None of us are perfectly immune to branding, marketing, and advertising. Children in particular are not capable of this kind of critical analysis of what they see. Yes, parents should educate their kids about proper diet. But we wouldn't propose that as a solution if heroin was being advertised on TV by pro athletes, would we? We would make laws against advertising heroin on TV, and we would use boycotts or shame to get those athletes to stop associating with those harmful brands. Foisting the problem onto individuals prevents addressing the issue collectively.
    What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. -Xenophon's Socrates
  10. OwlMatt is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/09/2013 8:58am


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    Quote Originally Posted by 1point2 View Post
    The idea that advertising works on such a conscious level is dramatically mistaken. This is particularly true for children. The purpose of this kind of ad is to internalize the association between Athlete and Brand at a level below language and rational thought. They don't want you to say "I want to eat junk food because Hakeem did it", they just want to put "hip" and "athletic" closer to Brand in your wiring.
    Okay, granted.

    The problem with Phrost's framing of the issue as cultural, and the solution therefore individual, is that it absolves us of the responsibility of fixing the problem systemically. I happen to have serendipitously stumbled across an article that addresses this phenomenon. I have paraphrased it for clarity:



    The fact of the matter is that advertising works. Sorry. None of us are perfectly immune to branding, marketing, and advertising. Children in particular are not capable of this kind of critical analysis of what they see.
    This isn't a new problem. For as long as there have been media, we've been filtering out media messages that we don't want getting to our children. There are certainly plenty of things on the TV and on the internet I don't want my daughter seeing; some of those things I'll be able to keep from her altogether and others I'll just have to offset by educating her myself. That's just a problem of modern life, and it's certainly not limited to junk food commercials.

    The only systemic solution to this problem would be keeping everything off the TV, off the internet, and out of print that I don't like. I don't think that's possible and I don't think I want it to be.

    Junk food has been advertised to children for a long time: we all remember commercials for McDonald's and sugary cereal from when we were kids. What is different today isn't an abundance of TV commercials or a new, super-effective advertising strategy; it's a lack of parenting.
    Yes, parents should educate their kids about proper diet. But we wouldn't propose that as a solution if heroin was being advertised on TV by pro athletes, would we? We would make laws against advertising heroin on TV, and we would use boycotts or shame to get those athletes to stop associating with those harmful brands. Foisting the problem onto individuals prevents addressing the issue collectively.
    Yeah, McDonald's isn't heroin.
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