Most top athletes are unhappy endorsing fatty foods and booze according to research by the University of Sydney.
A study of 2,000 elite athletes showed while 91.5% of them stated dislike of promoting junk food and alcohol on an individual level, more than half accepted sport as a marketing vehicle for such products.
The research was carried out by Dr Anne Grunseit from the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney.
She said: “Building on the resistance of elite athletes to promoting alcohol and junk food could transform the use of sport in sponsorship and advertising.
“The perceived need for the sporting industry to be able to continue to earn money from food and alcohol advertising and sponsorship might explain this passive tolerance.
“If encouraged, the personal resistance of many of these elites to the promotion of unhealthy products in sport may translate to a lower likelihood of their celebrity endorsement of those products as they become more successful and well-known.”
Younger, amateur and female athletes were less supportive of unhealthy product promotion than older, male, team and professional athletes, the study showed.