Australian sporting organisations are setting a poor example


Adapted from Macniven et al 2015 Health Promotion Journal of Australia 26, 52-56


Food, alcohol and gambling sponsorship is common in Australian sport. A study of 53 different sports organisations in Australia found only 14 that didn’t have ‘unhealthy’ sponsors. Cricket, rugby league, rugby union, Australian rules football, football (soccer), basketball and surf lifesaving had sponsorship across all three areas.


Cricket had the highest number of unhealthy food and beverage sponsors. Coca Cola had the highest number of sponsorship arrangements as well as sponsoring the highest number of different sports. The graph shows the number of different sports sponsored by food and beverage companies considered to sell unhealthy foods.

The authors say that this type of sponsorship endorses the brand and products to a wide community audience. Associating brands with the positive aspects of sport undermines the health benefits of the sport and normalises unhealthy foods. This is particularly concerning because of the influence on children participating or watching these sports.

Macniven R, Kelly B, King L. Unhealthy product sponsorship of Australian national and state sports organisations. Health Promot J Aust 2015; 26, 52-6
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