Tag Archives: Peyton Manning

Yale University study: Athletes often endorse unhealthy food products

8 Oct

Moi wrote in Critical thinking skills for kids are crucial: The lure of Super bowl alcohol ads:
The issue is whether children in a “captive” environment have the maturity and critical thinking skills to evaluate the information contained in the ads. Advertising is about creating a desire for the product, pushing a lifestyle which might make an individual more prone to purchase products to create that lifestyle, and promoting an image which might make an individual more prone to purchase products in pursuit of that image. Many girls and women have unrealistic body image expectations which can lead to eating disorders in the pursuit of a “super model” image. What the glossy magazines don’t tell young women is the dysfunctional lives of many “super models” which may involve both eating disorders and substance abuse. The magazines don’t point out that many “glamour girls” are air-brushed or photo-shopped and that they spend hours on professional make-up and professional hairstyling in addition to having a personal trainer and stylist. Many boys look at the buff bodies of the men in the ads and don’t realize that some use body enhancing drugs. In other words, when presented with any advertising, people must make a determination what to believe. It is easy for children to get derailed because of peer pressure in an all too permissive society. Parents and schools must teach children critical thinking skills and point out often that the picture presented in advertising is often as close to reality as the bedtime fairy tail. Reality does not often involve perfection, there are warts.

See, Admongo
and How to Help a Child With Critical Thinking Skills

Katy Bachman reported in the Adweek article, Study: Athletes Send Mixed Messages to Youth by Marketing Junk Food: LeBron James, Peyton Manning, Serena Williams are the worst offenders:

LeBron James, Peyton Manning and Serena Williams are tops in their sports and make great spokespeople for any marketer. But they are also at the top of a less-flattering ranker—endorsing junk food marketed to youth.
The NBA, NFL and WTA champs were the top three athlete endorsers promoting unhealthy foods in TV, radio, print and online ads reaching teens 12 to 17, according to a new study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale….
While the food and beverage industry has committed to advertise to children only food that meets specific nutrition criteria under the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, the self-regulation only applies to children under 12. The Yale study points out that once children reach a certain age, they quickly become a target….
“It’s as if the dollars blind them to the fact they are role models,” said Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Of the 512 brand endorsements associated with the top 100 athletes in the study, food and beverage brands represented the second-highest endorsement category for athletes at 23.8 percent, surpassed only by sporting goods and apparel at 28.3 percent.
Overall, the top 100 athletes endorsed 122 food and beverage brands. Sports beverages were the largest individual category endorsed by athletes, followed by soft drinks and fast food. Most of the 46 beverages endorsed by athletes received all of their calories from added sugar….http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/study-athletes-send-mixed-messages-youth-marketing-junk-food-152962

Here is the press release from Yale:

Unhealthy food marketed to youth through athlete endorsements
By Megan Orciari
October 7, 2013
Professional athletes are often paid large amounts of money to endorse commercial products. But the majority of the food and beverage brands endorsed by professional athletes are for unhealthy products like sports beverages, soft drinks, and fast food, according to a new study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale. The study appears in the November issue of Pediatrics.
Analyzing data collected in 2010 from Nielson and AdScope, an advertisement database, the study reveals that adolescents aged 12 to 17 viewed the most television ads for food endorsed by athletes. Previous research by public health advocates has criticized the use of athlete endorsements in food marketing campaigns for often promoting unhealthy food and sending mixed messages to youth about health, but this is the first study to examine the extent and reach of such marketing.
Researchers selected 100 professional athletes to study based on Businessweek’s 2010 Power 100 report, which ranked athletes according to their endorsement value and prominence in their sport. Information about each athlete’s endorsements was gathered from the Power 100 list and AdScope. Researchers then sorted the endorsements into categories: food/beverages, automotive, consumer goods, service providers, entertainment, finance, communications/office, sporting goods/apparel, retail, airline, and other. The nutritional quality of the foods featured in athlete-endorsement advertising was assessed, along with the marketing data.
Of the 512 brands associated with these athletes, food and beverage brands were the second largest category of endorsements behind sporting goods. “We found that LeBron James (NBA), Peyton Manning (NFL), and Serena Williams (tennis) had more food and beverage endorsements than any of the other athletes examined. Most of the athletes who endorsed food and beverages were from the NBA, followed by the NFL, and MLB,” said Marie Bragg, the study’s lead author and a doctoral candidate at Yale.
Sports beverages were the largest individual category of athlete endorsements, followed by soft drinks, and fast food. Most — 93% — of the 46 beverages being endorsed by athletes received all of their calories from added sugars.
Food and beverage advertisements associated with professional athletes had far-reaching exposure, with ads appearing nationally on television, the Internet, the radio, in newspapers, and magazines.
“The promotion of energy-dense, nutrient-poor products by some of the world’s most physically fit and well-known athletes is an ironic combination that sends mixed messages about diet and health,” said Bragg.
Bragg and co-authors assert that professional athletes should be aware of the health value of the products they are endorsing, and should use their status and celebrity to promote healthy messages to youth.
Other authors include Swati Yanamadala, Christina Roberto, and Jennifer L. Harris of the Rudd Center at Yale, and Kelly Brownell of Duke University.
The study was supported by grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Rudd Foundation.


Athlete Endorsements in Food Marketing
1. Marie A. Bragg, MS, MPhila,
2. Swati Yanamadala, BAb,
3. Christina A. Roberto, PhDa,c,
4. Jennifer L. Harris, MBA, PhDa, and
5. Kelly D. Brownell, PhDd
+ Author Affiliations
1. aRudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut;
2. bStanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California;
3. cDepartment of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts; and
4. dSanford School of Public Policy, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
OBJECTIVE: This study quantified professional athletes’ endorsement of food and beverages, evaluated the nutritional quality of endorsed products, and determined the number of television commercial exposures of athlete-endorsement commercials for children, adolescents, and adults.
METHODS: One hundred professional athletes were selected on the basis of Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2010 Power 100 rankings, which ranks athletes according to their endorsement value and prominence in their sport. Endorsement information was gathered from the Power 100 list and the advertisement database AdScope. Endorsements were sorted into 11 endorsement categories (eg, food/beverages, sports apparel). 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. Marketing data were collected from AdScope and Nielsen.
RESULTS: Of 512 brands endorsed by 100 different athletes, sporting goods/apparel represented the largest category (28.3%), followed by food/beverages (23.8%) and consumer goods (10.9%). Professional athletes in this sample were associated with 44 different food or beverage brands during 2010. Seventy-nine percent of the 62 food products in athlete-endorsed advertisements were energy-dense and nutrient-poor, and 93.4% of the 46 advertised beverages had 100% of calories from added sugar. Peyton Manning (professional American football player) and LeBron James (professional basketball player) had the most endorsements for energy-dense, nutrient-poor products. Adolescents saw the most television commercials that featured athlete endorsements of food.
CONCLUSIONS: Youth are exposed to professional athlete endorsements of food products that are energy-dense and nutrient-poor.

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