Sofia Vergara is stunning and fit, yet she endorses Pepsi. Peyton Manning may be a millionaire athlete, but he has a major financial stake in Papa John’s.Celebrity endorsements are all around us, and according to new research, they’re mostly unhealthy. A study from New York University suggests that celebrities mostly plug food and drink products that are low in nutrients and high in sugar and fat.
“Because of [the U.S.]’s childhood and teenage obesity public health crises, it is important to raise awareness about how companies are using celebrities popular with these audiences to market their unhealthy products,” said Dr. Marie Bragg, a psychologist at New York University Langone Medical Center. “Research has already shown that food advertising leads to overeating and the food industry spends $1.8bn (£1.2bn) per year marketing to youth alone.”
More than 80 percent of 65 celebrities and 38 food companies were identified as nutrient-poor and 71 percent of the beverages endorses were sugar-sweetened. The biggest category of celebrity endorsements was for soft drinks like Pepsi, which has been promoted by Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Mariah Carey, Calvin Harris, Nicki Minaj, One Direction, and Shakira, all in addition to Vergara.
Conversely, there were zero celebrity endorsements of fruits, vegetables, or whole grains.