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  • Warning on promotion of sports drinks

    Author: AAP

Two Australian experts have raised concerns that the promotion of supplements and sports drinks gives them an "unwarranted credibility".

Sporting bodies' promotional ties with nutritional supplement and sports drinks manufacturers could be lending "unwarranted credibility" to such products, according to an article in a leading medical journal.

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Several academics have raised concerns about the risks of supplement and sports drink use, the experts said.

Writing in the Journal of Medical Ethics, Dr Simon Outram and associate professor Bob Stewart of the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living, which is based in Melbourne, wrote that claims of efficacy for a "large percentage" of some sport supplement products have little or no scientific backing.

Meanwhile other experts have said that excessive calories from sports drinks, energy drinks, or soft drinks could increase a person's risk of becoming overweight or obese, they said.


"Because athletes are presumed to be at the pinnacle of health, endorsement of supplements and specialised hydration drinks by sport teams and sports personalities strongly suggests that such products are de facto healthy products," the pair wrote.

"Sponsorship - together with associated product endorsements and advertising - conveys the message that their products are integral to sporting engagement and achievement."

They concluded: "Sport may have found itself lending unwarranted credibility to products which would otherwise not necessarily be seen as beneficial for participation in sports and exercise or as inherently healthy products."

Copyright AAP 2014


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