Star Athletes Like LeBron, Serena Cash In On Junk Food Endorsements

Serena Williams' endorsement deals had the worst scores, as measured by their Nutrient Profile Index. Her food and beverage endorsements include Oreos, Nabisco's 100 Calorie Pack Snacks, 'Got Milk?' and Gatorade.from Superstar athletes Peyton Manning, LeBron James and Serena Williams led their colleagues with endorsements of food and beverages that are calorie-dense and unhealthful – sending mixed messages about diet and health, researchers said. Of 512 brands endorsed by 100 top athletes, nearly a quarter of them (122) were for food and beverages – 44 different brands in 2010, the year studied by researchers from Yale, Stanford, Duke and Harvard universities. (Some brands appeared more than once on the list.) Nearly 80% of the 49 food products were “energy-dense and nutrient-poor,” and 93% of the 73 beverages got all of their calories from added sugar, according to the study, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

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