Are Sports Enterprises Adding to Obesity in America?

Many factors lead to the prevalence of obesity in America at present. One of them is the endorsement of non-nutritious food products by popular organizations.

Obesity in America is becoming more and more prominent. Thereupon, it is taking every household in its stronghold. We must join hands and work hard to stop this menace from growing any further. There is still hope, and we can control it with a little bit of effort and free thinking.

Causes of Obesity – Promoting the right products?

Frito-lay, a brand that is famous for its chips and snacks struck a deal with NFL a few months ago. The campaign posted logos of each of the 19 NFL teams on the bag of chips.

Being on the panel of these famous sponsors is not only good for business but also gives the products more endorsement. When a celebrity tags you on Facebook, you automatically become famous, just because he or she knows you. Similarly, when a sports organization runs your commercials during a game, your product or service gets popular as well. We must take notice of the nutritional value of these products being promoted on such a massive scale.

Are they overshadowing the health factor?

It is food for thought when we witness flashy ad promotions during a game. For the sake of our kids and the next generation to be healthy, we should set our priorities straight. Is that item good for my physical fitness? A question we need to ask ourselves. Obesity has grown severe over the years. While it is a known fact that junk food makes you gain weight, we are making it difficult for the obese to trim down by showing these mouth-watering commercials.

The younger audience is hooked and many organizations that are running commercials of products in the form of sponsored ads.

Where are we going?

You see a bunch of physically fit athletes trying to play their best game. It is one side of the bigger picture. On the other hand, the commercials pop out in the middle of these games, especially for the TV viewers, persuading them to buy delicious bags of chips or the irresistible hot dogs.

Are we preparing the youth to be physically fit or are we just waiting for them to get fat so we can laugh at them?

As a nation, altogether, we are trending towards obesity and that too at a fast pace. NIH organized an in-depth study of this problem. Marie Bragg, the NIH Director’s Early Independence Award (2015) winner led this research which found out that almost 75 percent of the advertised products were below the nutritional grade.

The gist of the Research led by Marie Bragg

American kids aged 2 to 17 watch games all the time. NFL, MLB, NHL, FIFA, NBA, NCAA and Little League Baseball were among the top 10 most watched enterprises in 2015 according to Nielson television statistics.

The team led by Marie Bragg was inquisitive as well as persistent. They searched the entire web for names of those responsible for big sporting events – the corporate sponsors. Almost 20 percent of those sponsors were food and non-alcoholic beverage companies.

National Football League (NFL) is the busiest regarding food and beverage advertisements. The 2nd and 3rd spots go to NHL and Little League respectively.

According to the British and Australian system of judging foods for their nutritious value, there is a 100-point scale known as the Nutrient Profile Index (NPI). Ordinarily, an NPI of 64 or higher makes the particular food item or the non-alcoholic drink healthy and nutritious. Anything less than that means the product isn’t nutritious and only rich in calories.

Results of the study

  • The study revealed alarming results. 75 percent of the advertised 173 products scored less than 64 NPI. It was only 38 on an average.
  • Soft drinks loaded with sugar and energy drinks formed more than half of the 155 featured beverages.
  • Diet sodas were among the unsweetened drinks

In 2015 alone, the ads featuring these non-nutritious products received 196 million views. They were watched on television 412 million times which is more than enough. If something is aired on such a huge scale, it needs to be productive down to the core.

NHANES Data is not consoling

A recent report suggests that almost one kid in every 5 is obese. The data was collected sampling 17,000 kids aged between 2 to 19.

Conclusion

The results for obesity in adults shows a body mass index (BMI) is more than 30. For kids, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) growth chart is used to determine their obesity. If their BMI is equal to or more than the 95th percentile for their sex and age on the table, they are considered obese. The unhealthy growing trend in obesity will likely turn them into unhealthy adults. It’s a pity to see lives getting ruined by obesity. We need to step up and take some practical measures to put an end to this epidemic.

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