With 24 days left until the opening ceremony of London 2012, I woke up this morning with the curiosity to investigate the Olympics a little further. Unsurprisingly it was apparent that the food sponsors were none other than:
The Official Snack The Official Restaurant
The Official Drink
With these three companies being the three main food sponsors, the message spells out that our athletes are consuming big macs and fries, washed down with litres of coke and share-size bars of dairy milk for dessert.
I think I may have found a reason why we don’t top the medal list and maybe it is why England just crashed out of Euro 2012.
The humour aside, let’s look at what would happen if our athletes were to consume this as part of their training.
Aside from feeling rather full and not being able to move and other physiological processes, the massive intake of food would cause the sugar in your blood to rise rapidly. The body releases the hormone insulin to bring the blood sugar back to a normal range by removing the sugar from the blood and into the cells of the body. As our athlete has consumed a 2012 sponsored meal, they will create what is called a blood sugar imbalance, where too much insulin is produced and as a result more sugar is taken out of the blood than normal, resulting in the blood sugar level dropping too low. Here they may feel lethargic, experience further food cravings and experience mood swings.
I guess this is not optimal for training. If they were to continue having sponsored meals, this may lead to the cells losing their ability to recognise that insulin is high therefore insulin and sugar remain in the blood. A blood sugar imbalance not only leads to weight-gain, it may also lead to diabetes.
It’s pretty obvious that our athletes aren’t eating this to prepare for the games but it is scandalous that London 2012 and the Olympic Committee allow such sponsors in a SPORTING event. Surely sport events with the world tuning in are a chance to promote health. This is especially since we are in the plagued with diet related disease including obesity.
I’m sure the brands mentioned above are paying huge amounts to London 2012 to have their brand thrust in our face and to be available at the Olympic park for spectators to consume. If health food companies were in the position to afford the huge fork out for sponsorship then maybe we would be sending out a better message and leaving a better legacy for the games. The ability to afford these sponsorship deals shouldn’t be the main reason why they are allowed to have them. Sponsorship deals should given to companies whose values accord with and promote the values of health and sports, the same values the athletes embody, which is reason why they are have been selected for the Olympics.
What do you think? I’d love to hear your opinions on the subject of non-event appropriate sponsors.