Recent research shows how tied sports and junk food are. Researchers found that 76% of ads promoting food during sporting events are promoting unhealthy food. What’s more, 52.4% of ads about beverages during a sporting event or sports sponsorship are promoting drinks that contain added sugar.
Sports sponsorship includes ads that contain the logo or name of a sports organization in a YouTube video, banner ad, or TV commercial.
Researchers zoomed in on a dozen sports organizations, especially those very popular with young audiences. Lead author Marie Bragg warned that such ads can negatively influence kids and teens’ dietary choices in the long run.
Bragg noted that there is a dynamic between those kids’ favorite sports organization and the junk food industry that buys ads during sporting events. It is unclear who should take responsibility for the issue.
Pepsi Co and Hershey were some of the advertisers included din the new research. Hershey said that it strongly backs organizations that enable athletes to serve as role models for multiple generation.
Hershey’s and PepsiCo’s Response
Hershey also underlined that many people view their products as treats. Although candy is overrated, it accounts for only 2-3% of the average American’s calorie intake, the company added. Hershey unveiled that it has recently joined Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, which bars advertisers from promoting their products to viewers aged 12 or younger.
PepsiCo replied to the study as well. It said that it remains committed to responsible advertising to minors. The company too underscored that it has joined the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative.
In their study, scientists sifted through info from Nielsen’s television ratings to see which sports organizations are the most watched by children. Next, they created lists with advertisers for every sports organization. Only those advertisers that were official sponsors landed on the lists.
The most popular sports organizations with the youth were the NFL and the National Little League.
Image Source: Flickr
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