Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Professional Athletes And Celebreties Asked To Reject Offers To Promote Processed Junk Food

“As the saturation of Americans who are overweight is projected to reach nearly 100 percent by 2040, and with 30 to 40 percent of today's children projected to develop diet-related diabetes in their lifetimes, leading child obesity advocates denounce Michael Phelps' endorsement of Kellogg's Frosted Flakes Cereal, which was quickly followed by his acceptance as being named a McDonald's Ambassador. They implore the Olympic gold medalist and swimming phenom to reject offers to promote junk food. As a role model and Olympic hero to America's children, Michael Phelps--and all athletes and celebrities--are asked to reconsider any connection to substances suspected as agents of obesity including sugary cereals, soft drinks, and other foods with refined carbohydrates, saturated fats, transfats, and high fructose corn syrup. ‘Public figures like Michael Phelps exert a major influence over our youngsters,’ said Douglas Castle, Senior Advisor to Children's International Obesity Foundation (CIOF). ‘Mr. Phelps is a superior athlete by any measure, but his judgment regarding the McDonald's and Kellogg's Frosted Flakes endorsements was either 1) ill-advised by his handlers; 2) the irrational product of too much blood sugar; or 3) a sad triumph of greed over good. CIOF believes that celebrities should think twice before choosing to endorse or encourage the consumption of any product which is inherently unhealthful to children, especially if that product is correlated to obesity, diabetes, and a myriad of dangerous conditions.’ ‘In this era of escalating child obesity and diabetes, the last association Michael Phelps wants is that of 'junk food pusher', said MeMe Roth of National Action Against Obesity (NAAO) and the Children's International Obesity Foundation. ‘While Michael Phelps may consume thousands of calories a day and burn them off through Olympic training, America's kids aren't so lucky--they're fat, sickly, and have little hope of accomplishing a single sit-up much less Olympic Gold. Kids are watching, and Michael Phelps' going for the quick cash of pushing junk food at the expense of children tarnishes his image similar to an association with cigarettes or alcohol would. National Action Against Obesity and the Children's International Obesity Foundation implore Michael Phelps, and all celebrities and athletes, to reject offers to push more sugar, fat, and hazardous calories onto America's kids.’ The Children's International Obesity Foundation recently endorsed the controversial obesity documentary ‘Killer at Large’ as a film that reveals the true story behind the many hidden causes of America's obesity epidemic. CIOF is working with the filmmakers on a November fundraiser screening and obesity awareness gala in New York City.”


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