A Recent Study Links Celebrity Endorsements And The Obesity Pandemic

Obesity is one of the leading problems facing the nation. Processed sugars are at the forefront of this pandemic. Sometimes they’re hidden in our food, other times they’re plain as day. This is no huge secret — which has meant that corporations have to use creative tactics to keep profits growing.

A recent study dug deeper into why adults and children are so prone to reaching for that can of soda, or other unhealthy foods. What they found was more than a little unnerving:

Obesity has become such a pressing public health issue that society must acknowledge the human suffering and costs associated with diabetes, obesity, and associated comorbidities. Musicians, actors, and other celebrities can be tremendously influential, particularly for the young fan base that may be swayed by their endorsements.

The study cites that children between 12 and 18 listen to two hours of music a day. When they see their favorite artist endorsing a product, the likelihood of them buying said product skyrockets. Unfortunately, the vast majority of what celebrities (musicians especially) are endorsing are packed with sugar.

Forty-nine (71%) of the 69 nonalcoholic beverage references promoted sugar-sweetened beverages. Twenty-one (80.8%) of the 26 endorsed foods were energy dense and nutrient poor.

That’s certainly not a positive image. Beyonce received $50 million for her current endorsement deal with Pepsi. She’s been endorsing Pepsi now for over a decade. Justin Timberlake received $6 million for his “I’m Lovin’ It!” campaign in the early aughts. Neither of those products are historically associated with health.

This issue doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. The study ends by informing us about some crazy stats for advertising absorption by the general public.

Celebrity ads appear to be popular, with >312 million viewers watching the 94 videos associated with celebrity food and nonalcoholic beverage endorsements in this sample on YouTube alone.

On YouTube ALONE. Maybe it’s time to start endorsing the deliciousness of celery, guys. Word is that big celery is looking for a break out star!

Via First We Feast

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