Advertisements have greater influence on people, especially, when the products are endorsed by celebs.

A new study says, children, especially adolescents, may be strongly influenced by the endorsement of unhealthy foods by star athletes.

A study led by a team of US researchers has found that several food items promoted by sportsmen like American soccer player Peyton Manning or basketball player LeBron James are unhealthy. Promotion of these unhealthy food items prompts the young ones to have it as they consider these items to be the personal favorites of these stars.

For the study, the researchers looked at 512 brands endorsed by 100 different athletes during 2010. The researchers found that food and beverage items made up for 23.8 percent of the products endorsed by athletes, adding that about 79 percent of the food items were high in calories and poor in nutrients.

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According to the researchers, the increasing trend of such format of ads is a matter of serious concern for the society as children between 12 and 17 years old are among the most hit by such promotional stunts.

Kathleen Keller, an assistant professor in the department of health and nutritional science at Penn State, said, “One way to protect children against these unhealthy messages is for parents to teach kids about how advertising works. Even if kids aren’t watching TV at home, they are being exposed to advertising wherever they go.”