Foods and drinks endorsed by celebrities are everywhere from large billboards to magazine advertisements to TV commercials. Celebrities are paid millions of dollars to spruik many foods and drinks. It is common knowledge that Justin Timberlake was paid $6 million for McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it” jingle. In 2012, Beyonce was rumoured to have signed a contract worth $50 million to endorse Pepsi.
Celebrities are paid this amount of money because they have significant influence over the consumer to purchase these items. Adolescents are a particularly vulnerable group as they are very impressionable at this young age, and may have just gained some independence from their parents to make their own purchasing decisions and have just started to have some purchasing power. Adolescents may by more likely to buy impulsively as their self-control systems may be underdeveloped at this age, and there is also peer pressure and fear of negativity. They are highly likely to listen to what their favourite celebrities tell them to eat and drink.
Unfortunately, the foods and drinks endorsed by celebrities are almost always bad for you. The most common foods and drinks endorsed by celebrities are soft drinks or sugary drinks, fast food and sweets. Pepsi and Coca-Cola are dominant players in celebrity endorsement, with an array of artists spruiking the same drink or multiple drinks. Big names ranging from Britney Spears, will.i.am, Pitbull and Katy Perry, and famous groups like One Direction and Maroon 5 have endorsed their products.
The big issue is the general health of our young people when they favour foods and drinks endorsed by celebrities, which are full of sugar and acid and have little nutritional value. Not only are young people who consume these foods and drinks at risk of obesity and the health effects of obesity such as heart disease and diabetes, their oral health also suffers. A diet high in sugar and acid puts them at higher risk of tooth decay and tooth wear, especially when combined with a poorer level of oral hygiene.