Monday, July 07, 2008

Activia claims are being questioned

Dannon's popular probiotic yogurt product Activia cannot legally claim to protect against "constipation." If the company made a claim about the relationship between the product and a medical condition, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would ask some reasonable questions about whether there is any scientific evidence for the claim.

But, there are ways around such meddlesome standards of consumer protection. Ask yourself, what condition is the company alluding to, in the passages I've bolded below?

Slate quotes the advertising copy from the Activia website ...
Activia helps to naturally regulate your slow intestinal transit.
and a press release a couple years earlier:
Orlando is at a standstill, and we're not talking traffic. According to The Activia Most Irregular Cities Ranking, a recent national survey(1) sponsored by The Dannon Company, the Orlando area(2) is the most irregular market in America. But, Floridians aren't alone. The same research shows that approximately 26 million American adults have experienced irregularity at least once in the last three months.

For the survey, irregularity was defined as that miserable experience of not going to the bathroom for two or more days. More uncomfortable yet, more than half (55 percent) of those reporting irregularity -- more than 12 million adults -- say they have been irregular three or more times over the last three months.

Help is on the way! The Dannon Company is trailblazing a new way to help Americans keep their bodies working like clockwork with the launch of Activia(R), the first and only probiotic yogurt available in the United States that is clinically proven to help naturally regulate the digestive system...
Clinically proven? The Slate article continues: "If you dig a little, Dannon seems aware that the studies it adduces to support Activia's effectiveness are inconclusive."

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