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Top athletes want you to have fat kids

Star athletes like LeBron, Serena cash in on junk food endorsements

Superstar athletes Peyton Manning, LeBron James and Serena Williams led their colleagues with endorsements of food and beverages that are calorie-dense and unhealthful – sending mixed messages about diet and health, researchers said.

Of 512 brands endorsed by 100 top athletes, nearly a quarter of them (122) were for food and beverages – 44 different brands in 2010, the year studied by researchers from Yale, Stanford, Duke and Harvard universities. (Some brands appeared more than once on the list.)

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.

More at the link 


This goes hand in hand with the pot smoking athlete debate - should athletes who choose to market themselves as role model be more picky about what they endorse?

Answer Question

Asked by NotPanicking at 9:46 PM on Oct. 7, 2013 in Politics & Current Events

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (19)
  • No way to force them to be. Perhaps they should be but I think it is also important to teach kids to make their own decision and not to base their actions on what they see others doing(no matter who that "other" is).


    Answer by tntmom1027 at 9:55 PM on Oct. 7, 2013

  • Unfortunately, money talks. Perhaps it shouldn't, but it does. Those endorsements pay well.

    Answer by Ballad at 10:00 PM on Oct. 7, 2013

  • SHOULD they be? Sure.

    It's all $$$ in the bank though.  Energy dense / nutrient poor have deep pockets and great marketing.  Would it be nice if they chose endorsements for the whole grains industry or fruits and vegetable industry, but their government subsidies probably don't allow that much wiggle room.  

    I would love to see Manning as the Jolly Green Giant.


    Answer by QuinnMae at 10:01 PM on Oct. 7, 2013

  • They do not care what you kid eats or doesn't or if (s)he is healthy or not as long as they get the money promised them.
    Athletes etc. have said in the past that they signed up to play ball (or whatever). Being a role model is not in their contract.
    This is true. You do not have a right to deny them the ability to make money as they choose as long as it is not illegal, such as selling arms.
    It is up to the parents to guide their children in what they watch and listen to and believe.

    Should they make better choices? When it comes to their pocket book and their families lives as opposed to anyone else's, me bet is that they would say they did make a good choice and if the roles were reversed, you might make the same decision.

    Answer by Dardenella at 11:11 PM on Oct. 7, 2013

  • Don't forget Flacco and Kaepernick McDonalds commercial.

    Answer by cassie_kellison at 11:46 PM on Oct. 7, 2013

  • Being a role model is not in their contract.

    But it is. They choose which endorsements to take in order to sustain an image. That's why a bad boy athlete is not going to do ads for razors and underwear while a good boy athlete is going to do ads for the humane society. It's not like they just randomly take whatever - it goes through a manager, an agent, and an image consultant to predict what kind of public feedback they'll get for being associated with whatever product. What they endorse is custom fit to the image they want to project, and many of them intentionally project a role model image. Which goes back to why are they endorsing junk food?

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 8:00 AM on Oct. 8, 2013

  • *there's a not in there that shouldn't be

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 8:01 AM on Oct. 8, 2013

  • I do believe they should hold up the image they wish to portray to the public because whether they like it or not, they very much are role models for many kids(sadly).
    They may have not asked for that, but it is the truth of it and they should have a moral compass of some kind and strive to uphold that image as long as they continue to choose to stay in the public eye.
    Having said that....this is but one of many reasons why my kids don't view any athletes as any kind of role model. But instead look to people like Carl Sagan or even the guys from Myth Busters:) ANd more than that....look to their dad and I as a role model.
    Throwing a ball or hitting a ball or making a touchdown hardly constitute a role model, IMO. ANd I don't want my kids idolizing such ridiculousness.

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 8:25 AM on Oct. 8, 2013

  • I think they are entilted to do whatever they choose. I think it is my responsiblity as a parent to control the amount of crap my kids eat. Having Shaq advertise a car didn't make me run out an buy it, nor would Serena Williams make me want to purchase Doritios. what about all the athletic crap they promote, should they not endorse Nike because people in sweat shops produce them?
    Would I love to see someone take a moral road over a profitable one? Of course, but I blame our emphasis on US holding people who just happen to be good at sports, as a role model
    Doubt if they put the next Nobel Prize winner up on the taco bell advertisement, anyone would care, kwim?

    Answer by 2kids2dogs2cats at 11:48 AM on Oct. 8, 2013

  • Doubt if they put the next Nobel Prize winner up on the taco bell advertisement, anyone would care, kwim?

    Considering Putin's been nominated for the same "Peace" prize Obama has, if he wins, I'm guessing putting him on Taco Bell would lead to a huge GLBT protest.


    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 12:42 PM on Oct. 8, 2013

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