Children, especially adolescents, may be strongly influenced by the endorsement of unhealthy foods by star athletes, according to a study.
A study by a team of US researchers has found that a lot of the foods promoted by star athletes like American soccer player Peyton Manning or basketball player LeBron James, are unhealthy, in a marked contrast to previous studies, which show that consumers feel that that food products promoted by athletes are generally healthie.
According to CBS News, the researchers looked at 512 brands endorsed by 100 different athletes during 2010, following which they found that food and beverage items made up for 23.8 percent of the products endorsed by athletes, adding that about 79 percent of the food items were high in calories and poor in nutrients.
The researchers said that this form of advertising is a matter of concern as children between 12 and 17 years old were the ones who were viewing the TV commercials the most.
The researchers also found that James and Manning promoted the most caloric and nutrient-poor food, with Manning earning ten million dollars a year to promote products like Papa John's, Gatorade, Oreo and Wheaties while James' endorsements included McDonald's and Bubblicious Gum.