July 17th, 2012

Junk food has no place in the Olympic lineup

By Neville Rigby
The Guardian

The Coca-Cola bandwagon that has zigzagged the UK with the Olympic flame leaves no doubt as to the real purpose of the torch relay. The Olympic dream is a nightmare that ignores the reality of today’s obesity epidemic and targets children with messages linking prominent brands to sport’s feelgood factor.

By concluding long-term exclusivity agreements with iconic junk food brands, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has failed to support public health policy. Junk food 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.

UK governments have not been entirely blind to the absurdity of staging an Olympics emblazoned with junk-food logos wrapped up in legally binding exclusivity deals. Tessa Jowell MP received a sharp prod in the ribs when she dared to point out a few years ago the need for the Olympic junk-food sponsors to take heed of the UK’s childhood obesity crisis.

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/jul/17/junk-food-no-place-olympic-lineup

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