This study aimed to provide information on parents', children's and sporting officials' attitudes to sponsorship arrangements, and their support of potential policy interventions to reorient sponsorship to be more health promoting. Methods: Sports clubs (n=20) known to have food and beverage sponsors in Sydney, Illawarra and Canberra/Queanbeyan were selected. Parents and children at sports clubs were recruited through convenience sampling by approaching those attending the sports club at the time of the survey and those children who had a signed consent form. Sports clubs were visited between May and November 2010. At each club, one sports club official, ten parents of players aged 5 to 14 years, and five children aged 10 to 14 years were surveyed. Results: The majority of sporting officials and parents were supportive of policies to restrict unhealthy food and beverage sponsorship of elite sport and children's sports clubs. More than two-thirds of all children were able to correctly recall sponsors of their sports club and almost half could correctly name at least one sponsor of their favourite elite sports team. Most children thought that food and beverage companies sponsored sport to help out sports clubs and liked to return the favour to these sponsors by buying their products. Conclusion: Children's high level of recall of food and beverage sponsors is concerning as this recall is likely to be linked to children's product preferences and consumption behaviours. Alternative funding mechanisms are required to replace community and elite sport sponsorship from unhealthy food and beverage companies to reduce the promotional effects of this marketing on children's food choices and eating behaviours.
Kelly, B., Baur, L. A., Bauman, A. E., King, L., Chapman, K. & Smith, B. J. (2011). Promoting Health and Nutrition through Sport: Attitudes of the Junior Sporting Community. Wolloomooloo: Cancer Council NSW.