SICK Awards Expose the Worst in Junk-Food Marketing
Greek yogurt companies promise to transform consumers into Adonis. But they wildly overhype yogurt’s supposed benefits and fail to warn customers of its adverse health consequences. That’s why Dannon received the Physicians Committee’s inaugural SICK (Social Irresponsibility toward Consumers and Kids) Award for its Oikos Greek Yogurt 2014 Super Bowl ad.
The SICK Award alerts consumers to the millions of dollars restaurant chains and food manufacturers spend on misleading advertising and other efforts that push unhealthful foods. In 2009 and 2010, Dannon paid more than $50 million in settlements related to false advertising regarding the probiotic content of its products. The SICK Award also provides consumers resources to help them make healthful food choices.
Yogurt has gained an undeserved reputation as a healthful snack, but the high-calorie, high-sugar product is actually comparable to ice cream or pudding. In addition, dairy consumption is linked with increases in both ovarian and prostate cancer. Men who consume the highest amounts of yogurt raise their risk of prostate cancer by 52 percent, says a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.