Nutritionists Criticise 'Sugarpova Candy Lounge'

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Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova's 'Sugarpova Candy Lounge' condemned by nutritionists. Reuters

On Wimbledon High Street, Sharapova opened 'Sugarpova Candy Lounge' to sell treats during the Wimbledon championships on June 16. The world's richest female athlete, Russia's tennis champion, Maria Sharapova opened in 2012 a sweet firm called Sugarpova, a premium candy line.

Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition came out with a report that sugar should account for no more than five cent of a person's energy intake, despite many failing to meet the previous 10 per cent target. It can't come at a worse time for Sharapova as the report might interfere with her sales, as it suggests cutting down intake of added sugar by half.

Nutritionist's View of the Candy Lounge

The head of Diabetes and Nutritional Sciences at King's College, London, Professor Tom Sanders, said that he finds sporting celebrity endorsements of unhealthy foods such as sweets and soft drinks reprehensible. The use of player's clothing to promote cigarettes was outlawed almost 30 years ago - now it is time to crackdown on player endorsement of unhealthy foods.

He commented, "I would like to see an outright ban on sports personalities being involved in the advertising or marketing of sugar sweetened drinks, confectionary and crisps. Celebrity endorsement has a huge impact on sales to young people who are those most at risk of become obese."

A nutritionist working on Action on Sugar, a campaign group, Kawther Hashemsaid that celebrity endorsement sends the wrong message that the underlying cause of obesity and diet-related illnesses is our food and drink environment. She quoted, "Sugary sweets should not be associated with Wimbledon, full stop."

Denial by Sharapova's Agent

Sharapova's agent, Max Eisenbud, said, "If you look at the product, it's very premium. There's no aiming or targeted marketing towards kids .... It's pretty expensive. I don't think kids are coming to buy Sugarpova, I think they buy other types of candy. We're not targeting kids, we never have. Obviously kids are going to buy it, but we're not targeting kids."

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