Are athlete-endorsed foods negatively impacting your child's diet?

Are athlete-endorsed foods negatively impacting your child's diet? Credit: iStock

Research has shown that parents are more likely to buy food and beverages promoted by pro athletes because they associate those items with a healthy lifestyle, but a new study suggests that despite their fit representatives, these products aren’t as healthy as you might think.

According to stats collected in 2010 and published recently by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the majority of food products endorsed by athletes during that year were for sports beverages, soft drinks and fast food — all of which are not considered part of a healthy diet. In fact, 93 percent of the 46 beverages being promoted received all of their calories from added sugars.

Experts say that seeing physically fit athletes like Lebron James and Serena Williams promote unhealthy products not only impacts parents’ purchases, but also sends mixed messages to children, who have proven to be the group most exposed to these types of ads; especially between the ages of 12 and 17.

The study’s authors say they hope their research will encourage athletes to reconsider the types of products they endorse, but parents should stay aware too. The takeaway? Just because Peyton Manning is promoting it, doesn’t mean your little quarterback should be eating it.

For more on the study, click here.

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months