Even though the vast majority of teenagers worship celebrities like Gods, most of those Hollywood figures aren’t exactly returning the favour.
Whether it’s Kim Kardashian desperately clinging to fame by posing nude at every chance she gets, or the litany of songs about drug use and even underage sex, the messages in pop culture are often contrary to what you might want your kid to hear. Unfortunately, it turns out it’s not just the music and publicity stunts you have to watch out for. You see, the actual products that celebrities are endorsing usually aren’t very good for people either.
A new study published in the journal Pediatrics found that 80 per cent of food products endorsed by Hollywood A-listers are unhealthy, which really isn’t much of a surprise. Especially not when you consider how often you’ve seen celebs swilling sugar-loaded energy drinks, chips or other processed foods in advertisements or on TV.
To get that number, researchers focused on music celebrities who were included in the 2013 and 2014 Billboard Hot 100 Chart, and whose popularity was verified through the Teen Choice Awards. What they found was that Maroon 5, Britney Spears, Baauer, will.i.am and Justin Timberlake were the worst offenders in terms of how many endorsements they shilled. The companies they advertised for, meanwhile, included PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Chili’s, Red Bull and more — all companies that produce either sugary products or fast food.
At the same time, few celebrities endorsed water, while literally none of them endorsed things like fruits, vegetables or whole grains.
Food and beverage companies spend billions of dollars every year marketing their products, and celebrity endorsements persist because they work. So while we can’t stop someone like Beyonce from holding up whatever product they want for all of our kids to see and buy, you can make your children aware of what’s happening.
After all, it’s not like these people are dietitians or nutritionists (sometimes they don’t even like the product they’re endorsing), they are
sellouts entertainers accepting offers from the highest bidder.