This season, there's been nary a discouraging word said about Broncos QB Peyton Manning, who's on one of the most spectacular runs in NFL history. But the medical journal Pediatrics is an exception to this rule. A new study just shared in the publication evaluates athlete endorsements in food marketing to determine in part the stars pitching the least healthy stuff -- and Manning finishes very, very high in the rankings. Count down the top ten below, complete with videos of the hypsters in action, plus details and the complete report.
The study's authors, Kelly D. Brownell, Marie A. Bragg, Swati Yanamadala, Christina A. Roberto and Jennifer L. Harris, looked at one-hundred professional athletes selected on the basis of Business Week's 2010 Power 100, which ranks athletes "according to their endorsement value and prominence in their sport." Then they separated out the food endorsements, with the nutritional qualities of each detrmined by using either a nutrient profiling index or, when it came to beverages, the percentage of calories generated by added sugar.
Their findings? "79 percent of the 62 food products in athlete-endorsed advertisements were energy-dense and nutrient-poor, and 93.4% of the 46 advertised beverages had 100% of calories from added sugar."
The study features a number of different tables breaking down what the authors consider to be the worst offenders when it comes to supporting comparatively unhealthy products. Below, we're focusing on the one labeled "Athlete Endorsement Ranking," which orders the top ten by index score. The explanation reads: "The lowest index score indicates that the athlete has the highest Power 100 ranking, the highest number of advertisements and food endorsements, and the highest percentage of food endorsements compared with other endorsements. The lowest index score also indicates that the food endorsed was the least healthy in the sample."
Here's the countdown, followed by a look at the athlete-endorsement-ranking table and the full report.
Number 10: Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
Food products endorsed: Glaceau (Vitaminwater), McDonald's, Powerade Index value: 100.0
Number 9: Apolo Anton Ohno, speed skater
Food products endorsed: Coca-Cola, America's Milk Processor, Nabisco (Oreos) Index value: 90.7
Food products endorsed: Burger King, Coca-Cola, McDonald's Index value: 83.9
Number 7: Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Food products endorsed: Gatorade, Dempsters Bread, Tim Hortons Index value: 76.3
Food products endorsed: Subway, Powerade Index value: 71.3
Number 5: Dale Earnhardt, Jr., race-car driver
Food products endorsed: Amp Energy, Mountain Dew (dewmocracy.com), Hellmann's Mayonnaise Index value: 67.8
Food products endorsed: Gatorade, Kemps, Pepsi-Cola Index value: 66.5
Number 3: LeBron James, Miami Heat
Food products endorsed: Sprite, Glaceau (Vitaminwater), McDonald's,Powerade Index value: 42.7
Food products endorsed: Kraft Oreo, Gatorade, Nabisco 100 Calorie Pack Snacks, Got Milk? Index value: 32.4
Number 1: Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
Food products endorsed: Gatorade, General Mills Wheaties Fuel Cereal, Nabisco, Pepsi-Cola Index value: 28.9
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