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Tuesday, 18 February, 2003, 07:08 GMT
Parents attack 'greedy' Lineker
Gary Lineker
The 'nice guy' fails to impress parents
Ex-England footballer Gary Lineker has been dubbed "greedy" by parents for plugging a brand of crisps.

The star was criticised by a panel of mothers and fathers for using his celebrity status to promote "fatty, sugary or salty foods to children".

The Match of the Day host was given the "Greedy Star Award" for his adverts for Walkers crisps, after a vote by 1,200 parents.

Runners-up were pop singer Britney Spears for endorsing Pepsi and teen group S Club for promoting Sunny Delight.

The Parents Jury took part in the Food Commission charity awards which examine marketing techniques aimed at youngsters through its Children's Food Awards.

Sensible diet

In contrast Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver was named "Food Hero Award" winner for encouraging children to cook.

One parent said: "Jamie Oliver makes cooking 'cool' for young boys - my eight-year-old is hooked."

Gary Lineker has starred in television advertisements for Walkers for seven years trading on his image as football's "Mr Nice Guy".

His management company said: "Gary is very aware of his responsibilities as a parent and the healthy-eating habits of his children as well as other youngsters.

"He and his children enjoy crisps and snacks like millions of other families and recognise they form part of a sensible diet."

Walkers said: "Gary is used by us to promote a wide range of Walkers products which appeal to both adults and children and are very popular.

"Crisps are a useful source of energy and form part of a balanced diet alongside foods such as vegetables and fruit."

Cereals

Kellogg's Coco Pops was also under fire for using chocolate in its cereals.

One parent said: "Children get enough pressure to eat chocolate.

They don't need to start with breakfast."

Parents voted for Weetabix and porridge as better starts for the day.

Martin Paterson, deputy director general of the Food and Drink Federation, said: "Consumers are already judge and jury when it comes to what foods make up their children's diets.

"They give their verdict every week at the supermarket checkout".

Kellogg's were unable to comment.


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25 Oct 02 | Newsmakers
23 Jul 02 | England
10 Jun 02 | Leicester City
01 Mar 02 | England
10 Apr 02 | Leicester City
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