by Matt Weik
Well, not exactly—but kinda. I like to call celebrities today sellouts. Sure, there are some good celebrities out there working for great causes, but then you have A TON of celebrities who peddle products to make money (as if they don’t have enough), regardless of how bad the product might be for you. Health and fitness these days while always in the news, doesn’t seem like something many are jumping on board with. People roam around their day to day lives just doing what they want, with zero accountability for their health and the health of those around them (family). It doesn’t help that celebrities which people know and love (even though some of the celebrities are boneheads) such as music artists are pushing products that could eventually lead you down the path to sickness.
Let’s take a peek at who’s doing what these days:
• will.i.am – Coke, Doritos, Dr. Pepper, Pepsi
• Britney Spears – McDonald’s, Pepsi
• Justin Timberlake – McDonald’s, Pepsi
• Pitbull – Dr. Pepper, Pepsi
• Beyonce – Pepsi
• Maroon 5 – Coke
• Snoop Dogg – Hot Pockets
• Shakira – Pepsi
• Katy Perry – Pepsi
• Blake Shelton – Pepsi, Pizza Hut
• One Direction – Nabisco, Pepsi
• Ne-Yo – Pepsi
See a common theme there? A lot of junk that we all know people should stay away from. I think the funniest celebrity above is Snoop. I’m assuming when he gets the “munchies” he simply grabs a hot pocket and he’s good to go? HAHA.
Beyonce signed an estimated $50 million deal with Pepsi to promote their terrible products. Justin Timberlake grabbed himself a $6 million estimated deal with McDonald’s. Over 65 music celebrities have worked endorsement deals worth a ton of money. Why? Because they simply don’t care about you. They care about counting their money. For $50 million I can’t say I blame them but when you look around and majority of the people around you are overweight or obese, do you really get a sense of satisfaction from signing that deal and pushing products that will further lead American’s down the path to self-destruction? Do you sleep well at night knowing that fact and that you’re simply taking money to help increase the obesity rate in America?
Soda, candy, energy drinks, pizza, fast food, and other unhealthy food and beverage brands are targeting celebrities because they know they are in the face of the public and people watch everything they do. TMZ is a show dedicated to following around celebrities like we are supposed to care that they were spotted at the grocery store. As if we were supposed to think they don’t eat real food. It’s ridiculous that we put so much emphasis on celebrities these days as if they are doing something to benefit our lives. News flash—they aren’t! They don’t care about any of us. You have a few who aren’t peddling junk and dedicate their free time to good causes, but that’s a small fraction of the whole group.
What is this doing to us nutritionally? It’s causing us to take several steps backwards—as if it’s possible to regress any further. Endorsements of unhealthy food choices is sending the wrong message to our youth. They think it’s cool to eat or drink certain foods or beverages because they see celebrities doing it and pushing the products in commercials and ads. This ultimately forms bad dietary habits for kids who truly don’t know any better. That’s where we as parents will also have to step in and make the right food choices for our children.
Obesity rates are on the rise, and many more people are becoming overweight due to poor nutrition and lack of exercise. Do you see any celebrities pushing American’s to get active or eat a well-balanced nutritious diet? You see some celebrities such as Cam Newton, Stephen Curry, Kristen Bell, Jessica Alba, and a few others, but not many. So why is that? You and I both know many of these celebrities who hold lucrative endorsement deals care about their physique—they’re in the spotlight all day every day so you know they want to look their best. So why push a product that they themselves really wouldn’t have on a daily basis? Your guess is as good as mine other than the financial aspect of it.
Here’s some positive news… There have been many companies that are in the food and beverage industry whom have pledged to cut back their marketing campaigns that target kids under the age of 12. Some of these companies are McDonald’s, Coca-Cola (Coke), Burger King, Post, Hershey, and Kellogg who are looking to make some changes (that doesn’t mean they will stop making unhealthy items, simply choosing not to market them to kids). This is a little confusing though as many of the brands that are looking to not promote their products to kids are known for creating products specifically for kids. I’m left scratching my head even though what they are saying sounds like great news. Overall, there’s more than a dozen brands who have decided they will join a self-policing effort to stop marketing directed at children which they are calling the “Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative”. The take home message of this new initiative is to encourage children under the age of 12 to make healthier dietary choices and live a healthy lifestyle.
Things aren’t just stopping with what was said above. There are several health advocates who are pushing for a similar initiative for teenagers too. The CDC has come out and said that overweight and obesity rates for teenagers has been on the rise—causing reason for concern. Therefore, putting something in place similar to the initiative above only seems like a natural path to take. Will these new plans and initiatives hurt the sales of these companies? Without a doubt. I commend them for taking actions that could quite possibly disrupt and decrease their revenue stream and overall growth just to help fight obesity among our younger generations.
It’s encouraging to hear that companies are looking at the health and well-being of American’s and looking to make a change. It would be even better if MORE companies joined in. Baby steps I guess. Who knows what the future holds? These companies might lose millions of dollars and make a push to go back to the way it was before and bring back all the lost revenue they had from the change. Or maybe more companies will jump on the bandwagon and join in? Time will tell, but at least there is positive change on the horizon that will benefit many people and help form healthier eating habits.