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The Physicians Committee

NEWS RELEASE June 17, 2005

Doctor Phil Urged to Get Real About False Dairy Diet Claims

Doctors' New Ad Sets Record Straight: Milk Does Not Cause Weight Loss

WASHINGTON—In an advertisement running next week in USA Today and elsewhere, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) will call on television psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw to fix the confusion caused by his appearance in “milk mustache” ads falsely claiming that milk helps weight loss.

“Dr. Phil: Get Real,” the PCRM ad says. “Milk Does Not Cause Weight Loss.” As noted in the advertisement, scientific studies clearly show that adding dairy products to the diet does not result in weight loss. If anything, consuming milk is more likely to result in weight gain. The only studies showing weight loss with dairy were conducted by a single experimenter paid by the dairy industry, using questionable research methods.

“Dairy ads with Dr. Phil’s famous face and health-conscious image have unfortunately misled consumers,” says Amy Joy Lanou, Ph.D., PCRM’s senior nutrition scientist. “The scientific evidence against the ‘dairy diet’ theory is overwhelming. It’s time for Dr. Phil to take a stand against this false health claim.”

PCRM has corresponded privately with Dr. Phil and asked him to set the record straight. In addition to the ad, first appearing in USA Today, PCRM is also launching a new Web site——that details the scientific evidence showing that there is no association between consuming dairy products and losing weight.

Two recent studies, one at the University of Vermont and the other at Purdue University, found no significant difference in weight loss between people consuming a high-dairy diet and those consuming a low-dairy diet. In the June issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, a study of dairy consumption among 12,000 children concluded that the more milk children drank, the more weight they gained. The study’s lead author called the dairy industry’s claims “misleading.”

PCRM recently filed a petition asking the Federal Trade Commission to halt the Dr. Phil ads and other dairy industry advertising falsely suggesting that milk causes weight loss. PCRM has also asked the Food and Drug Administration to put an end to such claims.

PCRM’s USA Today ad and the FTC and FDA petitions can be found online at

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.

Media Contact:
Patrick Sullivan

Related Links:
FDA Petition (PDF)

FTC Petition (PDF)

Recent study: Dairy does not promote bone health

What's Wrong with Dairy Products? fact sheet

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