The Olympics are nearly upon us, but while we’re in for a sporting treat, will the food we eat while we’re watching live up to the healthy standards of an athletic event? Judging by the sponsors, probably not…
I’m starting to get excited about the Olympics. I think it will be an amazing time to be in London. Yes, I know there’ll be lots of traffic and inconvenience, but I also think there will be lots of positives and I’m looking forward to visiting the Olympic Village.
I know when I go I can pretty much guarantee I won’t be organised enough to pack my own lunch, so I’ll be at the mercy of the outlets there.
Although the organisers have said there will be a variety of outlets selling different types of food, some of the more traditional fast food restaurants will also have a prominent presence. McDonald’s, for instance, will have its largest restaurant on site.
In fact, the three food and drink related sponsors of the Olympics are Cadbury, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s. I know these companies have the money to support the Olympics through their sponsorship, but to me it just doesn’t sit right.
Should the sponsors be healthier?
It seems many people agree. In a Which? online survey of 1,995 UK adults in February 2012, nearly two thirds of people agreed with the statement that ‘it undermines the healthy ethos of the Olympics to be sponsored by companies that are perceived to make mainly unhealthy food and drink’.
Nearly two thirds of people agreed that these sponsorships make it harder to tackle obesity and poor diet, and are concerned that sponsorship by these companies encourages unhealthy eating.
Around half disagreed with the argument that food brands sponsoring sports events has no impact on what children eat. So should these brands be allowed to be Olympic sponsors? Less than a quarter of the people surveyed thought they should.
Do you think that sponsorship has an influence on what people eat or do you think ‘fair game’ and let them get on with it? Will you be tucking into a Big Mac while watching the athletics or will you be packing your own sandwich?