Do Athletes Encourage Kids to Eat Junk Food?
Have you noticed all the celebrities, especially professional athletes that promote fast food and sugary drinks? It isn’t new that celebrities would be paid to endorse certain products, but what happens when kids see their favorite athlete pushing McDonalds or Papa John’s? Are they more likely to consume that product? And with obesity rates skyrocketing in America, isn’t this something we should be concerned about?
Researchers at the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity put together a list of 100 professional athletes and looked at the products they are promoting. With athletes like LeBron James endorsing McDonald’s and Coca-Cola or Serena Williams promoting Oreos, kids are given a mixed message about what it means to be physically fit. I get it, the bottom line comes to money and those athletes make mega bucks endorsing these types of products, but shouldn’t professional athletes stand up for healthy lifestyles?
The truth is that we can’t rely on celebrities, professional athletes, or anyone else to help teach our kids what is healthy and good for them. As parents, we have to talk to our kids about making good decisions – AND about realizing that everything you see on TV, in a magazine, or online, is not always real. This means getting real with our kids and teaching them to question what they are told, especially ANYTHING in an advertisement.
Should professional athletes do a better job of being role models? Yes – in a perfect world. But until then, we as parents need to step it up if we want our kids embrace healthy and satisfying life choices.