Obesity in America: Pop Stars’ Endorsements Might Contribute to The Nation’s Weight Gain, Study Says [VIDEOGRAPHICS]

By , UniversityHerald Reporter

Obesity in America has been an epidemic that continues to increase in number. A recent study found that pop stars might be contributing to the nation's weight gain as they endorse unhealthy foods and beverages.

The research on popular music celebrity endorsement revealed that full calorie soft drinks are one of the common non-alcoholic beverages endorsed by pop stars. And a stunning fact obtained from the research is that none of the music celebrities endorsed fruits, veggies or whole grains but one does endorse for healthy pistachios.

The study on food and drinks marketed by pop stars

The analysis was conducted by a team of researchers from NYU Langone. Marie Bragg, lead study author claimed that the research uses rigorous database sources including advertisements, media reports, YouTube, official websites, and music stars that ranked on Billboard Hot 100 Chart between 2013 and 2014.

On the nutritional side, researchers used Nutrient Profile Index for the quality of nutrients and added-sugar calories for non alcoholic drinks. To measure the popularity of the music stars, scientists used Teen Choice Award nominees, Pediatrics reported.

Pop stars might be promoting unhealthy habits to Americans with the endorsements

The research found that unhealthy food advertisements are related to excessive consumption of the products in young adults because people make a purchase based on the food marketing exposure. The endorsements result in higher demand of the products among adults.

The marketing of unhealthy food and beverage also contribute significantly to childhood obesity in America. Bragg explained that some companies use pop star's popularity to reach wider audience when marketing their unhealthy food and beverages. Her research highlights more than $1 billion ads targeting youths and these ads lead to overeating.

Researchers at NYU Langone concerns on this particular health threat which is why the university established obesity initiative - a multidisciplinary study using big data, cutting edge technology and science with the hope to prevent and treat obesity in America, NYU Langone reported.

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