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What do you think when you see Serena Williams, LeBron James, or another professional athlete on TV or in advertisements? You probably think these elite individuals are the epitome of healthful living—they surely eat right, and they are obviously in top physical shape.

So it's ironic that these same athletes make money endorsing unhealthy products, from McDonalds to Oreos to Coke. Perhaps the most insidious product celebrity athletes endorse, however, is sports drinks.

Sports drinks, like Gatorade and Powerade, are designed for hardcore athletics—more than an hour's worth of physical activity. They are filled with electrolytes that are lost during heavy exercise, like potassium and sodium. However, they are also loaded with sugar.

And the sales of these beverages have been rising. In essence, people have been turning away from sugary sodas because they're unhealthy—instead picking up sports drinks, thinking they're healthier. And while sports drinks are less calorie-laden than traditional sodas, they are still packed with sugars.

With celebrity athlete endorsements of sports drinks, this illusion of healthfulness is likely to continue. And children and teens are highly vulnerable to it because they are most likely to see these ads, according to a 2010 study.

This needs to end. People have gone to great lengths to prevent childhood obesity by eliminating, or moderating, traditional sodas; all of that progress could go out the window if these marketing tactics go unchecked.

Sign below to tell the Federal Trade Commission that professional athletes should no longer be able to endorse sugary sports drinks!

Sign Here

Dear Federal Trade Commission,

Thanks in part to public education initiatives, sugary sodas, a significant contributor to the obesity epidemic, have dropped in sales. People are realizing they are unhealthy and cutting, if not eliminating, their consumption of these products.

However, another beverage threatens American health: sports drinks. And professional athlete endorsements inflate this threat, as they are role models for healthy living.

While sports drinks may be appropriate for some extreme athletes, marketing often reaches those who don't need or could even suffer from the product: children. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children rarely, if ever need sports drinks to rehydrate and restore electrolytes during exercise, especially since these sports drinks contain such a high sugar and calorie content.

However, many consumers believe sports drinks are a healthy beverage option, perhaps partly due to professional athlete endorsement. This idea is an illusion, and we must bring it to an end.

Therefore, we ask that you outlaw the use of celebrity athlete endorsements for sports drinks. The public, especially children, should not be receiving mixed messages from healthy role models.


Petition Signatures

Jul 10, 2018 Richard Bosboom
Jul 10, 2018 Richard Bosboom
Jun 12, 2018 Lori Strausser All for it! High paid athletes need to stop the greedy endorsements and think about the impact those ads have on the young. Also, parents and coaches need to be more educated and alert to what their kids and players are ingesting.
Jun 4, 2018 Madeleine Norris
May 27, 2018 Sharman von Dallwitz Healthy choices should be endorsed as the norm. No sports personality needs the almighty dollar to pad out their already over-inflated bank accounts. Reconsider your position.
May 27, 2018 Fernanda Camino
May 23, 2018 Aliyah Khan
May 7, 2018 Bonnie Steiger
Apr 24, 2018 Denise Griffin
Apr 18, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Apr 7, 2018 Wendy Shuman
Apr 2, 2018 Madison Daniels
Mar 30, 2018 Barbara Tomlinson
Mar 30, 2018 Martha Williams
Mar 17, 2018 Virginia Johle
Mar 13, 2018 Carol and Barry Meehan
Mar 12, 2018 Rachit Garg
Mar 12, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 9, 2018 Lynne Roberts
Mar 7, 2018 k v
Mar 7, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 6, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 4, 2018 Marion Hulen
Mar 4, 2018 Patty Langford
Mar 4, 2018 Susan Tatelman In the alternative, please make the commercial include a clear, simple (for children and adults) spoken and captioned warning by the athlete about how much sugar the product they're endorsing contains; and not to drink it without doing rigorous exercise.
Mar 4, 2018 Karen Martellaro
Mar 4, 2018 María Jesús Escobedo Barrera
Mar 4, 2018 Dona Gartrell
Mar 4, 2018 Alex Vollmer
Mar 4, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 4, 2018 robert dowling
Mar 4, 2018 Al Moorhouse
Mar 4, 2018 Rachel Limas
Mar 4, 2018 Karen Limas
Mar 4, 2018 Indiana Limas
Mar 4, 2018 Elizabeth Dodd
Mar 4, 2018 Mary Delger
Mar 4, 2018 Barbara Deegan Athletes should live up to the heroism children expect of them. No mistreatment of their families, and no endorsement of junk foods!!
Mar 4, 2018 Dee Henneke Have you ever wondered how similar sugar, a white powdery substance, looks to cocaine and heroin? Shouldn't this be sending a message to us? Sugar is the most addictive of all three so please help us to stop marketing this unhealthy "food".
Mar 4, 2018 D WMS-BOONE When will PROFIT stop taking precedent over the Health and LIFE of People? This issue should be addressed, and we haven't even begun to talk about the COLORS of this stuff.
Mar 4, 2018 Deborah Golembiewski
Mar 4, 2018 Andrew Deakin
Mar 4, 2018 Annicka Chetty
Mar 3, 2018 Fernanda Magri
Mar 3, 2018 Evgeniya Vyatchanina
Mar 1, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Mar 1, 2018 Mary Clausing
Mar 1, 2018 Lynn Brown
Mar 1, 2018 Ofelia Lam

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