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The Physicians Committee

NEWS RELEASE June 28, 2007

Got Proof? Yoplait, Nesquik, and Got Milk? Commercials Vie for Most Deceptive Ads in Online “Badvertisements” Poll

Dairy “Badvertisements” Mislead Women with Faulty Beauty and Health Claims

WASHINGTON—Got deception? A recent crop of television commercials use misleading health and beauty claims to sell dairy products to women. In a new online poll, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) asks visitors to its website to fight back by watching the three “Badvertisements” and voting on which one sends the most deceptive health message.

A Yoplait commercial claims that women can “Burn More Fat, Lose More Weight” by eating yogurt. A Nesquik spot suggests that the sugar-laden, chocolate beverage will promote bone growth. And a Spanish-language Got Milk? commercial asserting that milk maintains stronger and healthier hair features “Amazon goddesses” using their hair as lassos, self-defense tools, and jumping ropes.  

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently announced that scientific evidence was not sufficient to support some dairy industry advertising claims. In response to a petition filed by PCRM with the FTC, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and two major dairy trade groups recently agreed to stop claiming that dairy products cause weight loss because such claims are not supported by existing scientific research.

“Dairy products don’t cause weight loss and, surprisingly, they don’t ensure bone health or prevent fractures,” said Susan Levin, M.S., R.D. “And regulators are starting to insist on an end to such claims.”

Independent research, including a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, has found that dairy product consumption either has little or no effect on weight loss or actually increases body weight. In addition, a 2005 review published in Pediatrics showed that milk consumption does not improve bone integrity in children. Studies show that a diet rich in legumes, whole-grains, fruits, and vegetables is one of the best ways to promote weight loss, strong bones, and overall health.

“Yoplait, Nesquik, and Got Milk? should follow the USDA’s lead and discontinue their own false and deceptive advertising campaigns,” added Ms. Levin.

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:
Tara Failey

Susan Levin, M.S., R.D
Susan Levin, M.S., R.D

Related Links:
FTC letter to PCRM (PDF)

FTC Petition (PDF)

Health Concerns about Dairy Products fact sheet

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