British Health Campaigners Want a Ban on Sports Stars Promoting Junk Food

Nov 21, 2012 05:06 AM EST | By Staff Reporter

Junk Food
A new British study says that junk foods are responsible for warding off bacterial flora that prevents heart disease, obesity and cancer. (Photo : Flickr.com)

Sports stars make a fortune out of endorsements, but are they careful while choosing the brands they support? British health campaigners are urging the UK Government to ban sports stars from patronizing junk food brands as they are promoting obesity among youngsters, reports ANI.

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David Beckham and Gary Lineker are two sports stars who are endorsing junk food products like Walkers Crisps and Pepsi and Burger King. There are many Olympic winners who have recently jumped on to the endorsement bandwagon and are supporting junk food brands.

Linekar has been endorsing Walkers for 17 years. He was given 1.5 million pounds during his first contract and this January he signed another remunerative deal, reports The Independent. According to the company he has helped increase sales by 105 percent.  

"One in three children in UK is obese or overweight which is quite alarming", says a London based cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra. "Look at the smoking ban - introduced about 50 years after the first scientific evidence emerged on the dangers of smoking. We've started to see evidence on the dangers of a poor diet on children with the increase in obese kids and diabetes, but the food industry is powerful and it will push arguments and 'evidence' saying its products are not dangerous," Malhotra told The Independent.

Malcolm Clarke of Children's Food Campaign criticized fast food companies for their false promises and  for using sports stars to endorse their items. "Athletes tap into a mind-set - that if I eat that food I can look like that, have a body like that and achieve sporting success. It is clever marketing, and any healthy pledges are very vague and non-accountable. If you don't choose one of Subway's '5g of fat or less' sandwiches then the numbers are far less rosy. Sugar and salt content is still very high," ANI quoted him as saying.

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