Doctors' New Ad Sets Record Straight: Milk Does Not Cause Weight Loss
WASHINGTON—In an advertisement running next week in USA
Today and elsewhere, the Physicians Committee for Responsible
Medicine (PCRM) will call on television psychologist Dr. Phil
McGraw to fix the confusion caused by his appearance in “milk
mustache” ads falsely claiming that milk helps weight loss.
“Dr. Phil: Get Real,” the PCRM ad says. “Milk
Does Not Cause Weight Loss.” As noted in the advertisement,
scientific studies clearly show that adding dairy products to
the diet does not result in weight loss. If anything, consuming
milk is more likely to result in weight gain. The only studies
showing weight loss with dairy were conducted by a single experimenter
paid by the dairy industry, using questionable research methods.
“Dairy ads with Dr. Phil’s famous face and health-conscious
image have unfortunately misled consumers,” says Amy Joy
Lanou, Ph.D., PCRM’s senior nutrition scientist. “The
scientific evidence against the ‘dairy diet’ theory
is overwhelming. It’s time for Dr. Phil to take a stand
against this false health claim.”
PCRM has corresponded privately with Dr. Phil and asked him to
set the record straight. In addition to the ad, first appearing
in USA Today, PCRM is also launching a new Web site—www.GetRealAboutMilk.org—that
details the scientific evidence showing that there is no association
between consuming dairy products and losing weight.
Two recent studies, one at the University of Vermont and the
other at Purdue University, found no significant difference in
weight loss between people consuming a high-dairy diet and those
consuming a low-dairy diet. In the June issue of Archives
of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, a study of dairy consumption
among 12,000 children concluded that the more milk children drank,
the more weight they gained. The study’s lead author called
the dairy industry’s claims “misleading.”
PCRM recently filed a petition asking the Federal Trade Commission
to halt the Dr. Phil ads and other dairy industry advertising
falsely suggesting that milk causes weight loss. PCRM has also
asked the Food and Drug Administration to put an end to such claims.
PCRM’s USA Today ad and the FTC and FDA petitions can be
found online at www.GetRealAboutMilk.org.