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Famous Athletes Plug Unhealthy Food

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW HAVEN, Conn.) -- Beware which athletes you admire; they might lead you down the path to obesity.

While no one will questions the talents of basketball maven LeBron James, superstar quarterback Peyton Manning and perennial women’s tennis champ Serena Williams, it seems the food and beverages they endorse are crammed with unhealthy calories.

Marie Bragg, the lead researcher of a study at Yale University, says her team looked at the nutritional content of food and the marketing reach of ads featuring James, Manning, Williams and 97 other athletes.

It turns out that of the food they pitched, 79 percent were categorized as junk food and virtually all of the drinks had 100 percent of their calories from sugar.

The food and beverage items included products from McDonald's, Burger King, Oreos, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Gatorade and Red Bull.

Dr. Michael Rich, a Boston pediatrician who wasn’t involved in the study, says the findings are worrisome since, "There's an implicit message that the athletes actually use these products, and that [the products] are healthy."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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