Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Food, Fizzy, And Football: Unhealthy Food And Drink Promoted


Thursday 14 February 2013

Food, Fizzy, And Football: Unhealthy Food And Drink Promoted Through Sport

Public health researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington (UOW), are concerned that some food and drink companies selling unhealthy food also sponsor popular, televised sports in New Zealand.

The authors reviewed the websites of 308 New Zealand sports organisations covering 58 sports to identify sponsors and conducted 18 interviews with key administrators from national and regional sporting organisations. A quarter of websites had links to sponsors.

Sponsors were classified as healthy or unhealthy using the New Zealand Food and Beverage Classification System nutrient criteria for energy, fat, salt and fibre levels. The study found that a third of food/beverage companies sponsoring sport could be classified as unhealthy.

“Such sponsorship is likely to promote consumption of junk food and dilutes government recommendations promoting healthy eating”, says Associate Professor Louise Signal from Otago’s Health Promotion and Policy Research Unit.

“McDonalds and Coke are the greatest product sponsors, just like at the London Olympics,” Associate Professor Signal noted.

“And one of our most popular sports, rugby, has the unhealthiest sponsorship by far with 23% of brands and logos linked to unhealthy food. In contrast, netball has only 1% linked to unhealthy food.

“Given the recent increase in obesity amongst New Zealand children this is of considerable concern,” says Associate Professor Signal.

Currently, 11% of children aged 5-14 are obese, up from 8% in 2006/7, and at least 20% are overweight. The consumption of junk food is a significant contributor to this problem. Obesity is associated with a range of health problems including childhood diabetes, and heart disease, diabetes and cancer in later life.

“Our children deserve to be protected from the pressure to eat junk food while enjoying healthy outdoor activity, and parents need to be supported against pester advertising in their efforts to promote healthy eating to their children,” Associate Professor Signal argues.

The study by the Health Promotion and Policy Research Unit at UOW also found that some sponsors continued to target children with additional marketing activities.

This is also developed through access to regional clubs and youth players providing them with product samples, merchandise and vouchers for purchasing more product.

“Counting logos does not capture the extent of marketing in sports and probably underestimates the extent of sponsorship,” say the researchers.

“Tactics included the use of ‘Player of the Day’ certificates for budding All White football players as young as four, and promotion of ‘Powerade’ by the All Blacks. ‘Powerade’ is not generally recommended for children,” Associate Professor Signal says.

The study found that healthy food and beverage brands also sponsor sport, with rugby again coming out on top with 21% of logos linked to healthy foods and cricket next highest at 5%.

Increasing such healthy sponsorship is a way to support children eating a healthy diet, say the researchers, and has been shown to have an impact. High participation rates in sport and increasing recognition of how diet benefits athletic performance suggest sports settings are ideal locations for promoting healthy eating.

All sports administrators identified the main benefit of sponsorship as financial. Although many reported sports organisations felt concerned about associating themselves with unhealthy foods or beverages, others considered sponsorship income more important than what type of food is being promoted.

Recommendations include sports codes requiring members to place a higher priority on health when selecting sponsors, and government regulation and funding to replace unhealthy food sponsorship with healthy sponsorship, just as for tobacco.

The recently created Health Promotion Agency is currently responsible for tobacco sponsorship replacement in sport. It would be a logical step to include replacement of junk food sponsorship in their mandate.

The paper has recently been published in BMC Public Health and is funded by the Health Research Council.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Cyclists Net First NZ Gold

New Zealand won a gold meal and two bronzes on the first day of the Commonwealth Games. There was joy and heartbreak in an incredibly full day of sport. Here's how the New Zealanders fared. More>>

Cap Bocage: Anti-Mining Campaign Doco Debuts At NZ Film Festival

Playing at this year’s New Zealand International Film Festival, Cap Bocage is a close-up exploration of the forces that came into play when environmental issues and indigenous rights became intertwined in New Caledonia ... More>>

Film Fest:

More Film:

Sharon Ellis Review: A View From The Bridge

Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge is Circa’s latest big production, it opened on Saturday 19 July and it is a stunning triumph. More>>

Māori Language Week: He Karanga Kia Kaha Ake Te Tīhau Ki Te Reo Māori

The Māori Language Commission wishes to see social media swamped with Māori language tweets and messages for Te Wiki o te Reo Māori using the hashtag #tekupu. More>>

ALSO:

Book Vote: Kiwis Prefer Young Adult & Classics

To compile their Top 100 List for 2014, Whitcoulls again asked New Zealanders to vote for their favourite books and authors. And while classic novels continue to appeal to Kiwi readers, 2014 marks a significant new trend – the increasing popularity of novels for young adults. More>>

ALSO:

Five NZ Cities: Bill Bailey Back To The Southern Hemisphere

The gap between how we imagine our lives to be and how they really are is the subject of Bill’s new show Limboland. With his trademark intelligence and sharp wit, he tells tales of finding himself in this halfway place. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Book Television Is Coming

Carole Beu of The Women’s Bookshop in Auckland, Graham Beattie of The Book Blog and producer Deb Faith of FaceTV have raised enough money via crowd funding at Boosted – just under $7,000 so far – for 12 episodes, which begin production in September, and will be on screen later that month. More>>

Electric Sheep: Light Nelson Exceeds All Expectations

Light Nelson exceeded all expectations drawing over 40,000 people over two nights to the Queens Gardens and surrounds. The event, with over 40 installations from local and national artists, is in its second year, and organisers were hoping they’d top last year’s crowd of 16,000. More>>

MacGyver: Richard Dean Anderson To Attend Armageddon This October

New Zealand’s biggest pulp-culture event, the Armageddon Expo is proud to announce the world’s most recognised DIY action hero will be attending the Auckland event at the ASB Showgrounds from October 24th to 27th. More>>

ALSO:

Barbershop Gold: Māori Party Singing Praises Of The Musical Island Boys

The Maori Party has congratulated four young men on a mission, who in 2002 took up barbershop singing at Tawa College, and tonight took out the Gold Medal in the 2014 International Barbershop Harmony Society competitions in Las Vegas. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news