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What do you think?

Below is an article written by The Lancet about the topic of physical activity, Olympics, and Olympics sponsors. 

Do you side with authors?  Are we influenced by the Olympics sponsors?  Other opinions?

Please respond with courtesy, this is a NJH blog

Two people will be chosen to receive a free class in the NJH fitness department!

 

 

Pamela Das, Richard Horton

Rethinking our approach to physical activity

The Lancet, Volume 380, Issue 9838, 21–27 July 2012, Pages 189-190

 

In The Lancet today, we are publishing a five-paper Series about physical inactivity. The publication comes a week before the 2012 Olympic Games begin in London. The Games should encourage physical activity, promote healthy living, and inspire the next generation to exercise. However, marring this healthy vision has been the choice of junk food and drink giants—McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and Cadbury’s—as major sponsors of the event.

Health campaigners have rightly been dismayed. On June 20, the London Assembly (an elected body that scrutinises the work of the Mayor of London) passed a motion urging the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to adopt strict sponsorship criteria that exclude food and drinks companies strongly associated with high calorie brands and products linked to childhood obesity. Meanwhile, the UK’s Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has said that the presence of McDonald’s and Coca-Cola at the 2012 Games sends out the wrong message to children.

Indeed, their presence is hardly subtle. The new two-storey McDonald’s restaurant at the Olympic Park in Stratford will be the biggest in the world. It will serve up to 1200 customers an hour and make £3 million selling fast food during the Games. Cadbury’s has joined forces with McDonald’s to offer what it states on its website will be the “perfect snack” to enjoy whilst watching the Games—a chocolate bar-ice cream concoction with a whopping 395 calories per serving. Coca-Cola, meanwhile, has raised its profile considerably by branding the Olympic torch relay.

The IOC has been indignant about criticism over McDonald’s and Coca-Cola’s sponsorship. “We are proud to work with both…”, said IOC president Jacques Rogge, adding that sponsorship agreements were in place until 2020 with both companies.

But the news is not all bad: after the closing ceremony of the Paralympics, the McDonald’s mega-restaurant will be bulldozed. Harder to erase will be the long-term effect of Games-associated junk food advertising on people’s hearts and waistlines—definitely one Olympic legacy the world can do without.

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  1. Christina
    July 27th, 2012 at 19:38 | #1

    Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Cadbury are three reputable companies. This all translates to lots of money with deep pockets and business interests and connections. Eating a hamburger, drinking a coke, or eating an ice cream bar does not hurt once in awhile. I think that the Olympics will not be marred by this sponsorship.

  2. Mary McMahon
    July 27th, 2012 at 20:16 | #2

    Marketing is successful at their business and this is an excellent example of that success – convincing people to buy things they don’t need! The question of need vs want is one again subject to those lucky folks who get to cheer on the Olympic athletes. Many aspire to perform like an Olympian but if their diet consists of foods and beverages from McDonalds, Coca Cola and Cadbury’s, few will achieve that goal. But let us remember, that in moderation, even “bad” foods can be okay for you. In our disposable culture, this is the ultimate – tearing down the McDonalds constructed for this year’s summer games after the closing ceremony!

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