Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Wrong Product

You may be familiar with the Yogurt commercial that "stars" Jamie Lee Curtis and suggests that the product helps with digestive issues.  If I recall correctly, I used that commercial as a way to direct you to my You Tube video for cereal bars, as they are high in whole grains and fiber which also helps the digestive track.

But the marketed ingredient in this particular yogurt is probiotics (a bacteria).  There are substantiated health claims regarding active cultures in yogurt, but there is not evidence that Activa and  DanActive (a dairy drink) are by and of  themselves health promoting.  So the company settled a claim with the Federal Trade Commission regarding their false advertising which includes a 21 million dollar fine.

It appears that the FTC is paying more attention to product claims, as this is not the first company to take a hit this year.  Many times the products are claimed to improve health or prevent a condition, like a cold.

According to a USA Today article, the yogurt industry brings in billions.

We have some problems in the country that is certain.  We have a national chronic disease burden that is epidemic in scope and cost to treat.   But to be honest, Omega 3s and probiotics are not going to change that.  

The true need, the one the food makers really ought to put their might into, is fat, sugar and calorie reduction.  We need foods that are less energy (calorie) dense.  Let them make and market those.

The FTC report on the yogurt can be read here.

No comments: