New ‘Body by Milk’ Ads Target Teens
The dairy industry has a new target in its sights: teenagers who want to lose weight. The new campaign is called “Body by Milk” and features four entertainment and sports celebrities and an interactive Web site designed to lure the younger set. But research shows that drinking milk is actually likely to cause weight gain. PCRM has sent letters to the four spokespeople, encouraging them to set the record straight.
Soccer star David Beckham, ice skater Sasha Cohen, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, and American Idol winner Carrie Underwood are all featured in full-page Body by Milk advertisements, which claim that milk can help teenagers lose weight and build muscle. The campaign’s message is that studies suggest that “teens who choose milk tend to be leaner.”
PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D., sent letters to all four celebrities to explain the dairy industry’s deceptive weight-loss claims.
“Only three out of 37 research studies show any connection between dairy and weight loss,” the letter said. “These three studies, conducted by one researcher—who has a financial stake in the outcome – showed a statistically significant effect of dairy product consumption on weight loss and only when paired with a strict caloric restriction.” This researcher’s findings have not been replicated by other researchers and are not representative of the majority of objective scientific literature.
The letter also outlined other concerns that come with milk consumption. Dr. Barnard pointed out that the Harvard Nurses’ Health study, which followed more than 72,300 women for 18 years, showed no protective effect of increased milk consumption on fracture risk. The letter explained that the consumption of dairy products has been linked to several types of cancer and that about 75 percent of people worldwide are lactose intolerant.
PCRM Online, October 2006