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The Physicians Committee

NEWS RELEASE August 16, 2007

Nesquik Commercial Voted Most Deceptive Ad in Online “Badvertisements” Poll

Voters Weigh In on Dairy Commercials’ Faulty Health and Beauty Claims

WASHINGTON— Got deception? Voters say that a Nesquik television ad that tries to sell moms on the supposed health benefits of chocolate milk certainly does. An online poll sponsored by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) asked web visitors to choose between the Nesquik commercial and two other ads that target female consumers: a Yoplait spot claiming that women can “Burn More Fat, Lose More Weight” by eating yogurt and a Got Milk? commercial in Spanish asserting that milk maintains stronger and healthier hair while featuring “Amazon goddesses” using their hair as lassos, self-defense tools, and jumping ropes.

All three commercials use misleading health and beauty claims to sell dairy products to women. The ads dupe women by making claims that are not supported by scientific evidence. Voters in the web poll selected the Nesquik ad as the worst, giving it 37 percent of the vote. The Yoplait and Got Milk? spots received 36 percent and 27 percent of the vote, respectively.

The Nesquik commercial juxtaposes the image of a mom dressing her kids in helmets and knee pads with the message that half of today’s kids aren’t being protected on the inside by getting enough calcium. The narrator claims that the sugar-laden, chocolate beverage will help kids’ bodies by “building strong bones, one glass at a time.”   

“Nesquik and other dairy products contribute to the excessive calories, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sugar that kids consume today,” said Susan Levin M.S., R.D. “Parents who want to strengthen their kids’ bones and protect them from obesity should provide kids with green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, and beans.”

A 2005 review published in Pediatrics showed that milk consumption does not improve bone integrity in children. Similarly, the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, which followed more than 72,000 women for 18 years, showed no protective effect of increased milk consumption on fracture risk. Studies show that a diet rich in legumes, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables is one of the best ways to promote strong bones and overall health.

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 Link:
Health Concerns about Dairy Products fact sheet

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