A new study finds that parents are more likely to skip reading the nutrition labels and assume that a food is healthy for their kids if an athlete has endorsed it.

About 1,500 kids participated in the study, which gave parents a choice between food products packaged in a variety of ways, according to Public Health Nutrition,

either a plain package with nutrition facts, a package also including nutritional information and nutrition claims - such as "High in Calcium" - or a package with a celebrity athlete endorsement, saying something like "I love this high fiber cereal."

Slightly under half of the parents read the nutrition facts when they were made available to them, and were more than two and a half times more likely to select a food if the packaging contained an implicit athlete endorsement. On one hand, it's dismaying that consumers are easily swayed by celebrities, and it's super dismaying that so few people seem to understand how endorsements work, but on the other hand, what responsibilities (if any) do food manufacturers have in forcing parents to read the nutrition labels on their products?

At any rate, it looks like I really need to rush this line of Pistol Pete Maravich cotton candy machines and the accompanying Dominique Dawes brand cooking lard to market. I've been sitting on a goldmine!

Parents Buy Bad Food If Athletes Endorse It [Diet Blog]