Fuelling The Greed: Are You Persuaded By Marketing?
In this third article about the Seven Sporting Sins, the Australian Dental Association examine the influence of marketing on our consumption of foods and beverages that have the potential to damage our teeth. Companies spend millions to promote sports drinks, and often use well-known sporting celebrities in their ads. Unfortunately this advertising can be very deceptive, and can make sports beverages and other foods and supplements seem more healthy than they actually are.
The ADA sums it up beautifully:
“Thanks to persuasive advertising and company endorsements from our sports men and women, many people, including children, teenagers, adults, parents and coaches believe sports drinks are a must. But for the majority of us a well-balanced diet and being well-hydrated is all that is needed.”
Some Articles About Marketing That You Might Find Interesting
Athlete Endorsements In Food Marketing
In the journal Pediatrics by the University of Yale, researchers studied 100 professional athletes in the US and their endorsement contracts, using Businessweek’s 2010 Power 100 report, which ranks athletes based on their endorsement value and prominence in their given sport. Sports drinks, which are often high in sugar and calories, landed as the second top product to be endorsed. “Of the 46 beverages endorsed by professional athletes, 93% relied exclusively on sugar for all of their calories.”
When Great Superstars Endorse Bad Lifestyle Choices
This article (click here) also highlights the influence of “role models” on consumer’s attitude towards buying of food brands.
“Sports drinks are useless for the majority of people and their use by celebrities simply misleads the public into thinking they work, experts have warned.”
This article by Mail Online (read it here) calls for banning of celebrity endorsements of sports drinks, as suggested by Simon Outram and Bob Stewart of the Institute of Sport, Exercise, and Active Living, in Melbourne Australia.
The Ethics Of Marketing Sports Drinks
Published by Warringal Publications and share by Northcote High School in Victoria, this resource tackles how marketing sports drinks targets children and youth. “According to the Australian consumer organisation Choice, sports drinks might be useful for elite athletes but for others they are purely a source of sugar and salt that they don’t need; and in the case of children they merely rot teeth and contribute to childhood obesity.”
It also mentions Australia’s 2010 Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice, which states that “advertisements directed to children for food and/or beverages: 1) should not encourage or promote an inactive lifestyle; 2) should not encourage or promote unhealthy eating or drinking habits; 3) must not contain any misleading or incorrect information about the nutritional value of the product.”
This article by the British Dental Journal’s Nature Online Magazine (read it here) calls for a ban on advertising sugary drinks, noting that “if major sporting tournaments banned sugary drinks sponsorship – similar to the ban on tobacco advertising, there would be a reduction in consumption and an improvement in the health of thousands of people”.
Want To Know More?
We’re keen to encourage all Canberrans to be healthy and active! If you have any questions about sports drinks and its effect on dental health, ask any member of our friendly team.