Shaquille O'Neal Not an Appropriate Let's Move Spokesperson, Says CSPI

Statement of CSPI Nutrition Policy Director Margo G. Wootan

September 4, 2013

No one's a bigger fan of the First Lady's Let's Move initiative than we are. But it's not appropriate to include prominent endorsers of sugary drinks and junk food in photo-ops or events aimed at promoting Let's Move or other anti-obesity initiatives.

Sugary drinks are one of the leading culprits behind obesity in kids and adults, and one of the most important messages coming out of an anti-obesity campaign should be for Americans to drink fewer sugary drinks. Shaquille O'Neal's new line of sugar drinks have 270 empty, obesogenic calories in every oversize can. A celebrity like him shouldn't have it both ways: You can't do a photo-op with the First Lady promoting exercise one day, and sell disease-promoting sodas the rest of the year.


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