Athlete food endorsements and kids

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A new study finds a majority of the food and beverages being endorsed by high-profile athletes are for sports drinks, soft drinks, and fast food.

Yale University researchers looked at 100 professional athletes, the products they endorse, and how often kids are exposed to their ads.

The athletes were selected on the basis of “Bloomberg Business Week’s 2010 power 100” report. Results show nearly 80% of the food products in athlete-endorsed advertisements were energy-dense and nutrient-poor, while 93% of the advertised beverages had 100% of calories from added sugar.

Pro football player Peyton Manning and basketball star Lebron James endorsed the most energy-dense, nutrient-poor products in 2010.

Researchers say kids between the ages of 12 and 17 saw the most athlete-endorsed food and beverage brand commercials. This leads them to think that this may send mixed-messages to kids and that athletes should be aware of the health value of the products they endorse.

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