Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Sporting Stars encourage junk food consumption

Sporting Stars encourage junk food consumption
February 15, 2011

An Australian study has found parents are easily persuaded to buy junk food for their children if it is endorsed by a sporting celebrity.

The investigation into junk food marketing was conducted by the Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC), which is made up of groups like the Cancer Council of Victoria. It is published in the journal, Public Health Nutrition.

The online study asked more than 1,500 parents which products they would buy.

They were asked to choose between an unhealthy product and a comparable but healthier alternative based on the packaging.

The parents surveyed clearly preferred packets that made claims about nutrients, like source of fibre, but they were even more convinced when a well-known sportsperson endorsed the food - whether it was a cereal, flavoured milk or chicken nuggets.

OPC spokesperson Jane Martin says the power of celebrity was clear in parents' decision making, stating "for people who didn't read the nutrient information panel, they were much more likely to choose a less healthy product - twice as likely in fact to choose the less healthy product - if it had a nutrient claim and nearly two-and-a-half times more likely to choose the product if it had the sport celebrity endorsement.

"The sporting celebrity really conferred a whole lot of things onto the food.

"Parents thought that the product was more healthy, that it was better quality, and they were more likely to say that they would buy.

"So it really does have a huge impact on what people perceive the product really is."

Martin says the survey results make the Obesity Policy Coalition even more keen to see the recommendations of a recent food labelling review acted on, adding "the recommendation was that multiple traffic lights are put on the front of packaged food.

"That would mean that if a product was high in salt, fat or sugar it would have a label on the front of the pack which was red if it was high, amber if it was medium and green if it was low.

"That would help cut through some of this marketing spin."

Martin says claims about nutrition content should also only be placed on food which is healthy overall, adding that those pushing for labelling reform are expecting strong resistance from food manufacturers.

"In Europe, where a traffic light system was proposed, more than $1 billion was spent fighting it by the food industry and we would expect that that would happen here.

"Government has said they're going to take a year to respond to the recommendations of labelling logic which certainly allows industry a long time to have an influence."

For more information go to www.nutritionsociety.org/node/239


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Life Fitness

Life Fitness Cardio Life Fitness Strength Hammer Strength Group Cycling Rowers Certified Refurbished Freeweights Benches & Racks Flooring Life Fitness is the global leader in the fitness…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Technology / Wellness

 
 

Otium Planning Group

Otium Planning Group is a contemporary sport and leisure consultancy providing services in planning, facility development, management and funding for the sport, recreation and leisure industries…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues

 
 

PAYSMART

Headquartered in Brisbane with an Australia-wide network of satellite offices, PaySmart is one of Australia’s largest and longest-standing direct debit billing companies. In 1996 we began…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology

 
 

The Retention People Australia

TRP help health clubs, leisure centres and gyms across the globe create happy, loyal members through our user-friendly software which enables effective engagement and the delivery exceptional customer…

read more

Fitness / Marketing / Recreation / Technology / Wellness

 
 

PlayRope

Playrope Aqua-Fun, are the Australian & New Zealand exclusive distributors for Vortex Aquatic Structures International, the world leader in aquatic playgrounds and urban water landscapes.…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Parks / Play / Recreation

 
 

METRA Australia

METRA Australia is your innovation partner for smart electronic locking, Access Control solutions and cashless payment systems to suit all types of leisure facilities.  Our team’s…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Fitness / Recreation / Security

 
 

Neptune Benson

Neptune Benson is a manufacturer of high quality water filtration and disinfection products for the recreational, industrial, and municipal water markets. With more than 20,000 installations…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Recreation

 
 

Goplay Commercial Playground Equipment

Goplay designs and manufactures specialised playground equipment for indoor play centres, hotels, food chains, clubs and resorts. If our years of experience and dedication have taught us one thing,…

read more

Play

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business