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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The junk food Olympics

As we get ready to enjoy/endure/get-away-from (delete as appropriate) weeks of physical competition and confrontation at the Olympic games in London, questions remain as to what legacy the UK will be getting from this competition.

Will we see many more youngsters seeking to emulate their heroes by taking up sport or will they be following the example of the sponsors and just eating more junk food?

Today's Guardian highlights how commercialism is taking over the Olympic spirit. They say that by concluding long-term exclusivity agreements with iconic junk food brands, the International Olympic Committee has failed to support public health policy.

Junk food, they say, in the shape of Coca-Cola and McDonald's as "top" Olympic sponsors and Cadbury as official "treats' provider", is part and parcel of the sports jamboree: "So, forget those vague attempts to get people to lead healthier lifestyles through the Change4Life campaign, just tuck into your burger and fizzy pop, and enjoy the show."

They add that the impetus of the World Health Organisation's recommendations on food marketing to children, which urge member states to reduce the negative impact of unhealthy food marketing on children, has yet to be reflected in London's "spirit of Olympism".

And that is before we even get into the issue of the draconian restrictions imposed on other businesses regarding marketing and advertising near to Olympic venues. These are not issues that we should allow the sport to blind us to.
type of product hegemony at work, if they can afford to advertise at olympics what they produce must be good, despite reason or rationality. advertising does not work on rationality but something else.
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