New York: Top sports leagues may be contributing to the escalating obesity epidemic among children and adolescents as the majority of food and beverages marketed through sponsorship of these events are unhealthy, says a US-based study.

"Unhealthy food and beverage promotion through organised sports is pervasive," said the study's lead investigator Marie Bragg, Assistant Professor at New York University School of Medicine.

"These organisations must put forth a better effort to protect their youngest and most impressionable fans," she added.

For the study published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers analysed Nielsen statistics of televised sports programmes among children 2-17 years of age.

The study found that, among the 10 most watched sports organisations, most of the food products were rated "unhealthy" under the guidelines of the Nutrient Profile Model, a profiling system that identifies nutritious value in Britain and Australia.

The US does not have a comparable measurement system.

The researchers examined sports sponsorship agreements covering 2006-2016 between food and beverage manufacturers and the 10 sports organisations with the most youth viewers.

These organisations were -- the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Hockey League (NHL), the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)-even Little League Baseball and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

"The US is in the throes of a child and adolescent obesity epidemic, and these findings suggest that sports organisations and many of their sponsors are contributing, directly and indirectly, to it," Bragg said.

"Sports organisations need to develop more health-conscious marketing strategies that are aligned with recommendations from national medical associations," she added.

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Patna: Over 18.30 percent voter turnout has been recorded till 11 AM in the first phase of Bihar assembly polls on Wednesday, the Election Commission said in its provisional data.

A total of 71 assembly segments of the state's 243 constituencies are voting in the first phase in which nearly 2.15 crore voters will decide the electoral fate of over 1,000 candidates.

As per the provisional voter turnout data updated by the Election Commission at 11 AM, 18.31 percent of the total electorates have exercised their franchise.

The 71 constituencies are spread across 16 districts.

The maximum 26.76 percent turnout has been recorded in Lakhisarai, followed by Nawada (23.42%) and Banka (22.58 percent).

Among other districts, Buxar has recorded 19.10 percent turnout, Gaya 19.02 percent, Aurangabad 18.46 percent, Sheikhpura 17.31 percent, Kaimur (Bhabua) 16.98 percent, and Bhojpur 16.21 percent.

Munger recorded a turnout of 15.71 percent, Rohtas 15.32 percent, Arwal 14.81 percent, Jamui 13.91 percent, Jehanabad 11.39 percent, Bhagalpur 6.84 percent, and Patna 5.96 percent.

Union minister and senior BJP leader Giriraj Singh cast his vote at a polling booth in Lakhisarai, while former Bihar chief minister and HAM president Jitan Ram Manjhi exercised his franchise at a booth in Gaya.