The use of sports references in marketing of food and beverage products in supermarkets.


Journal Article

OBJECTIVE:Food marketing has been identified as a significant driver of the childhood obesity epidemic. The purpose of the present study was to (i) conduct a content analysis of the types of sports references that appear on supermarket food and beverage products and (ii) assess each product's nutritional and marketing profile. DESIGN:This was a descriptive study. Every product featuring sports references on the packaging was purchased in two major supermarkets during 2010. A content analysis was conducted and nutritional evaluations were made based on the Nutrient Profile Model, a validated nutrition model. Marketing data were obtained from The Nielsen Company. SETTING:Two major supermarkets in Connecticut, USA. SUBJECTS:Food and beverage products (n 102) were selected from two supermarkets. RESULTS:The 102 products (fifty-three foods and forty-nine beverages) had sports references as part of their packaging: 72·5 % featured a character exercising, 42·2 % were endorsed by a professional sports entity and 34·0 % were child-targeted. The median nutrition score for food products was 36 (1 = unhealthiest and 100 = healthiest; scores of ≥63 are considered healthy according to this model). More than two-thirds of beverages (69·4 %) were 100 % sugar-sweetened. Children saw significantly more commercials for these products than adults. CONCLUSIONS:Companies place sports figures on food and beverage products that are child-targeted and unhealthy.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bragg, MA; Liu, PJ; Roberto, CA; Sarda, V; Harris, JL; Brownell, KD

Published Date

  • April 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 16 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 738 - 742

PubMed ID

  • 22874497

Pubmed Central ID

  • 22874497

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1475-2727

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1368-9800

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1017/s1368980012003163


  • eng