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The problem with celebrity endorsements

Photo: Instagram/@carrieunderwood
Photo: [email protected]

Carrie Underwood is pretty open about her passion for health. When she graced the cover of Shape magazine recently, she spilled that her fridge is full of veggies, and she even brings a personal trainer on tour with her. And she’s on the cover of Us Weekly right now talking about it again. So it’s a little hard to picture her with sugar-loaded Vitamin Water in one hand and a Hershey bar in the other—two brands she’s been paid big money to endorse.

But Underwood isn’t the only healthy celeb promoting not-so-healthy foods. In recent years, Katy Perry has promoted Pop Chips, Justin Timberlake took home $6 million for a 2003 deal with McDonald’s (which he says he later regretted), and Beyonce will get $50 million over 10 years for the Pepsi contact she signed in 2012, The Richest reports.

In fact, 81 percent of foods endorsed by celebrities are unhealthy, according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics. And 71 percent of the drinks on the list are sweetened with sugar, something that’s such an unavoidable problem that the American government recently issued limits on sugar for the first time ever.

The study’s lead researcher, New York University’s Marie Bragg, compared today’s celebrity endorsements to old-school tobacco marketing, according to the Washington Post. The celebs are making things that are bad for you look glamorous—which has a powerful effect on kids and teens, she says. “We hope that this study will start a discussion about shifting this marketing away from unhealthy products.”

Celebrities aren’t shy about Instagramming their favorite workouts and smoothies on Instagram—if only they got paid millions of dollars to do that. (Oh, wait.)

So who’s doing healthy stuff for real? Karlie Kloss share’s her guide to staying happy and healthy. And here’s the genius way Amy Schumer and Lena Denham are spreading body positivity.