As all of our readers know, we love promoting health and fitness. So where we were surprised to learn just yesterday, that 76 percent of sports sponsorship in America is linked to junk food. recent study, published in the journal Pediatrics , shows that 76 percent of the food products shown in advertisements promoting the sponsorship of a sports organization are unhealthy and 52.4% of the beverages shown in sports sponsorship advertisements are sugar-sweetened. In a time where people are more educated and health concerns have never been more public, we were shocked by the news but not overly surprised.
Let’s take a look at some obesity statistics. Obesity is classified as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. BMI is calculated by dividing the subject’s weight in kilograms by the square of their height in meters. The obesity problem in America is about to get worse, according to new research from Harvard, which simulates future obesity rates for Americans who currently have children.
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Above – Fast food ads encourage kids to eat junk food.
While a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested that nearly 40% of American adults are currently obese, new research predicts that more than 57% of today’s children are obese by the time they reach the age of 35. Will be It is estimated that nearly one in five children and teens aged 6 to 19 are already obese, but obesity is not just an American problem. In the United Kingdom, obesity is estimated to affect one in every five children between the ages of 10 and 11, according to the National Health Service.
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The association between junk food and sports is nothing new. A new study shows that three out of four food advertisements and half of drink promotions during major US sporting events promote high-calorie, sugary products, according to Reuters Health. An example of this would be evident in the Super Bowl which is largely dominated by sponsorships from corporations such as Pepsi. The report points out that “highly visible sports organizations promoting junk food to children serve as a vehicle that sends a mixed message that is incompatible with maintaining a healthy diet”.
Why sports sponsorship includes unhealthy foods and drinks
Above – Pepsi’s half-time ad at the Super Bowl
It may not seem obvious at first, but why are all the big sports organizations allowing teens and children alike to promote unhealthy foods and beverages? It’s pretty straightforward, the profit margins within advertising an unhealthy snack like “Coke” or “Pepsi” certainly exceed that of bottled water. At the end of the day, money talks. A researcher at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College in Lebanon has reported that many children who see these advertisements by sports organizations prefer these foods, even if they are already full of food. This is called “cued” eating.
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Television has become a platform for programming kids to eat junk food. Kids are not only sitting down to watch a game, they have been introduced to all these incredibly unhealthy foods and drinks and they are completely unaware of it. Children are not always able to figure out what is advertising versus what is not. I think it’s hard for a parent to explain to a child that these famous athletes are being paid exorbitant amounts just for promoting unhealthy junk food.
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It’s clear we’re not going to see the ultimate unhealthy junk food anytime soon, as PepsiCo has agreed to pay $90 million per year for a 10-year sponsorship with the NFL until 2021. So I guess we wouldn’t expect commercials. Carrot’s on our screens during the NFL anytime soon. Parents should remind children that the importance of a healthy balanced diet should not be encouraged to eat the junk food promoted by these sports organizations.
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That’s why I guess it’s up to small companies like ours to help educate you about the harmful relationship between junk food and sports! And we have been doing this for 4 years and will continue to fight the good fight. We have devoted an entire section of our blog to more than 50 articles on “healthy living”. We enjoy writing about it because we love to practice what we preach and know that this information will help both us and our readers to stay fit and eat healthy.
We can already see that some governments are introducing sugar taxes and running media ads about junk food and the damage it does to societies, but a lot more needs to be done, and maybe in the future we will be playing sports. You can also see junk food ban on ads.
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