Super Bowl Sunday is an American tradition for many people around the country; it’s in fact that unofficial holiday between New Year’s eve and Memorial Day, which gives people a reason to gather with friends and family, enjoy good food and root for their favorite football team. And the best part for many? (aside from the competition itself)—Super Bowl commercials!
Not only do these Super Bowl commercials cost advertisers big money to produce and feature ($3.8 million for each 30 second slot), the quest for the best Super Bowl commercial is so popular, some people watch the game just for the advertisements.
Auto industry, insurance, banking, alcoholic drinks and of course, food products including cookies, chips, candy and soda, are among the many products promoted on Super Bowl Sunday. There’s not much on fruits and veggies, organic items and natural remedies, although fitness does play a part in Super Bowl commercials, with companies like Gildan Activewear and Skechers securing a slot.
So, when it comes to Super Bowl Sunday, which is a showcase of some of the most incredible athletics seen during the sports’ season, how is it this physically-demanding game is mostly supported and funded by some very unhealthy products?
Super Bowl commercials: Promoting unhealthy habits?
Year after year, Super Bowl commercials display a menu full of alcoholic and sugary drinks, as well as junk food products and fast food chains.
One of the biggest Super Bowl contributors this year is a partnership between PepsiCo. and Budweiser.
Their goal is not necessarily to gain more consumers through the advertising, but according to a report from the Huffington Post, the partnership is geared toward stealing some of the spotlight from Coca-Cola—another major advertiser.
“Friendly competition” among Super Bowl commercials certainly bodes well for television networks; but how good is it for the recipients of such messages?
It’s been long known that drinking soda not only contributes to risk of obesity and diabetes, but according to Prevention, even drinking one diet soda a day is linked to a 34 percent increased risk for metabolic syndrome, the risk factors that place people in danger of heart disease.
While children are still one of the primary groups of concern when it comes to the dangers of drinking too much soda, recent data indicates adult soda consumption has grown by 25 percent in the last decade and it’s linked to obesity rates. For many, an extra dose of Pepsi and Coca-Cola Super Bowl commercials might not be enough to create a problem, but it is sure not to help matters either.
Another big Super Bowl supporter? Beer products. Aside from also contributing to the obesity issue, excessive beer drinking can cause scarring of the liver known as cirrhosis. Beer drinking has been linked to a number of different cancers, including mouth, throat, breast, colon and liver cancer. It should be noted the risk of cancer associated with drinking beer is identical to the risk posed by any other form of alcohol.PepsiCo, Coke and Budweiser certainly aren’t the only companies promoting unhealthy habits and products during Super Bowl Sunday.
Doritos is also a big Super Bowl Sunday sponsor. In the past, Doritos has always gone the route of advertising humor to reach the masses, a technique which keeps them in the forefront of conversation for days after the event.
Frito-Lay, the maker of Doritos, says their chips are healthy. On the Examiner, the company defended the product by stating it was made from real farm-grown ingredients, and like most other tortilla chips, contains no trans fats. While that may be true, the danger of Doritos and other similar products lies not only in its ingredients, but in the amount consumed by the average person. One serving size of Doritos contains approximately 140 calories—and a serving size is considered to be 11 chips only. If that is not enough, Doritos contain artificial colors and flavors, and some other ingredients considered risky for babies and asthmatics.
Super Bowl commercials can be extra sweet too. M&M and Oreo Cookies will be also featured in this year’s ad lineup. A diet high in sugar has been linked to obesity, diabetes and early dementia, just to mention a few, but you would not be thinking about these risks while watching cute animated candy and a father and a daughter bonding over cookies and milk.