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.
Sports beverages were the largest category of athlete endorsements, with 39, followed by soft drinks with 21 and fast food with 16, the researchers wrote. The products in tennis star Serena Williams' ads had the worst scores for nutrition. Manning had the most ads for food and beverages with 25, followed by baseball player Ryan Howard with 21. Howard, the researchers wrote, endorsed the fewest energy-dense, nutrient-poor products.
The American Beverage Assn., a trade group, issued a statement saying, “America's beverage companies have a longstanding commitment to responsible advertising and marketing practices, including not directing advertising to audiences comprised predominantly of children under 12.”
"No consumer could reasonably be misled into thinking Vitaminwater was a healthy beverage.”
But there sure in hell is a ton money available for being a spokesperson for Coke and Pepsi.
There's just no money in being a spokesperson for a tomato.