Are the Olympics a "carnival of junk food marketing"?

Campaigners say Coca Cola, McDonald's and Kellogg's are targeting kids with unhealthy products

Campaigners in the UK have renewed calls for the Olympics and national Olympic bodies to sever ties with companies who produce fast food, and foods and drinks which are high in sugar.

"We know first hand from London 2012 what a carnival of junk food marketing the Olympics are," Malcolm Clark, a coordinator of the Children’s Food Campaign told The Guardian.

The group is particularly critical of McDonald's and Coca Cola's positions as official Olympic Worldwide partners - and Kellogg's association with the games. It's an official partner of Team GB and the Irish Olympic Council.

The massage of the Kellogg's tie-in with the Irish team has been highlighting the importance of eating breakfast. When the partnership was launched Pat Hickey, President of the Olympic Council of Ireland said, "Athletes believe, as we do, that the power of breakfast is crucial to a great start to the day and that from great starts come great things. That’s one of the messages we will help to deliver as Team Ireland."

But campaigners have highlighted the high sugar content of a number of their products.

When approached by Newstalk about the campaign against these brands, the Olympic Council of Ireland declined to comment.

A portion of the money paid by McDonald's and Coca Cola to The International Olympic Committee is distributed to Olympic countries, based on the size of their population - meaning that the sums of money paid to Ireland's Olympic Council are small. The brands are listed as commercial partners on the Council's website, alongside Kellogg's.

A spokesperson for Kellogg's told the British newspaper that many athletes consumer their products as part of a balanced diet:

“We offer a wide range of breakfast cereals and cereal snacks with varying amounts of sugar all of which are clearly labelled; our cereals provide 3% to 10% of the recommended daily allowance of sugar while our snacks 5% to 20%."