Researchers from Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity analyzed the endorsements of the Top 100 athletes in the U.S., based on BusinessWeek's 2010 Power 100 report, and found that of the 512 brand endorsements, around 122 were related to food and beverages.
Around 49 of the 62 food products were high in calories and low in nutritional value while 43 of the 46 sports drinks, sodas and beverages that the athletes promoted derived all of their calories from sugar. The study has been published in the journal Pediatrics.
"Our ultimate hope would be that athletes reject the unhealthy endorsements or, at the very least, promote healthy foods. These athletes have an opportunity to work with parents. Instead, they're promoting really unhealthy foods", lead researcher Marie Bragg said.