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

 

Architecture:
Ian Athfield Dies In Wellington

New Zealand Institute of Architects: It is with great sadness that we inform Members that Sir Ian Athfield, one of New Zealand's finest architects, has passed away in Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington Production: New-Look Tracy Brothers Are F.A.B.

ITV and New Zealand’s Pukeko Pictures today released an exclusive preview of the new-look Tracy brothers from this year’s hotly anticipated new series, Thunderbirds Are Go. More>>

ALSO:

Cardinal Numbers:
Pope Francis Names Archbishop From NZ Among New Cardinals

Announcing a list of bishops to be made Cardinals in February Pope Francis named Archbishop John Dew, Archbishop of Wellington, overnight from Rome. On hearing the news of the announcement, Archbishop John Dew said "This news is recognition of the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand, and the contribution it makes to the global Catholic family." More>>

ALSO:

Nomenclature: Charlotte And Oliver Top Baby Names For 2014

Charlotte and Oliver were the most popular names for newborn girls and boys in 2014... The top 100 girls’ and boys’ names make up a small proportion of the more than 12,000 unique first names registered for children born this year, says Jeff Montgomery, Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriage. More>>

Werewolf: Katniss Joins The News Team

From the outset, the Hunger Games series has dwelt obsessively on the ways that media images infiltrate our public and personal lives... From that grim starting point, Mockingjay Part One takes the process a few stages further. There is very little of the film that does not involve the characters (a) being on screens (b) making propaganda footage to be screened and (c) reacting to what other characters have been doing on screens. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Ko Witi Te Kaituhituhi

Witi Ihimaera, the distinguished Māori author and the first Māori to publish a book of short stories and a novel, has adopted a new genre with his latest book. But despite its subtitle, this book is a great deal more than a memoir of childhood. More>>

Werewolf: Rescuing Paul Robeson

Would it be any harder these days, for the US government to destroy the career of a famous American entertainer and disappear them from history – purely because of their political beliefs? You would hope so. In 1940, Paul Robeson – a gifted black athlete, singer, film star, Shakespearean actor and orator – was one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. More>>

ALSO:

"Not A Competition... A Quest": Chapman Tripp Theatre Award Winners

Big winners on the night were Equivocation (Promising Newcomer, Best Costume, Best Director and Production of the Year), Kiss the Fish (Best Music Composition, Outstanding New NZ Play and Best Supporting Actress), and Watch (Best Set, Best Sound Design and Outstanding Performance). More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news