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The more things change, the more they stay the same: A study of nutrition supplementation advertising in the 20 th century Rima D. Apple, Ph.D. University.

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Presentation on theme: "The more things change, the more they stay the same: A study of nutrition supplementation advertising in the 20 th century Rima D. Apple, Ph.D. University."— Presentation transcript:

1 The more things change, the more they stay the same: A study of nutrition supplementation advertising in the 20 th century Rima D. Apple, Ph.D. University of Wisconsin- Madison

2 Growth in Vitamin Supplement Sales –United States $12-million Today – more than $25- billion

3 Opposition to Vitamin Supplementation Opponents of vitamin advertising U.S. Food and Drug Administration U.S. Federal Trade Commission American Medical Association

4 Opposition to Vitamin Supplementation Claims against vitamin advertising False Hopes Waste of Money Dangerous

5 Changing Focus of the Industry 1930s: Vitamin D 1940s: Vitamin B s-1970s: Vitamin C 1990s: Anti-oxidants

6 Over-arching Themes of Vitamin Advertisements BEAUTY INSURANCE

7 Early Beauty Advertising Through pharmacists Women buy vitamins for beauty as well as for health because they regard the two things as inseparable. Beauty is your duty

8 Vita-Ray Advertisement – Good Housekeeping, 1931

9 Early Beauty Advertising Through print media -"Now you can feed your skin"- through the medium of cod- liver oil, vitamin D "can enter the body via the skin in quantities sufficient to produce their health-giving benefits. Walter Eddy, June 1938

10 Supporters of Vitamin-D Products Manufacturers Good Housekeeping Bureau

11 Denouncers of Vitamin-D Products U.S. Federal Trade Commission U.S. Food and Drug Administration American Medical Association and its journal Hygeia

12 Vitamin-D Controversy in the Popular Media Beauty for the Asking 1939-RKO film Starring Lucille Ball

13 Beauty for the Asking (1939) Jean Russell (Lucille Ball), a shrewd capitalist, invents a face cream Resistance to the cream from consumers because it is not turtle oil cream, which must be good. It is the most expensive cream on the market." Russells response: "Well, it's not as expensive as ours."

14 Beauty for the Asking (1939) Russell refuses to add vitamins to her cream: It's alright to charge women eight times what we should, they won't buy if we don't." But that's as far as I'll go." Her reason: Only vitamin D can be absorbed by the skin. We can't get enough of that into the cream to do any good."

15 Vitamins Plus Advertisement Wake up and enjoy life. Avoid Avitaminosis

16 Vitamin Plus Claims Avitaminosis not restricted to poor people. Example of an endorsement: People would meet her on the street and say 'You just don't look a bit well.' And it was true. Her make-up wouldn't stay put. Her hair came all out of curl ten minutes after it was set. No use to put on nail polish... it just chipped right off again.

17 Response to Claims for Vitamin Plus A consumer: Was the product "good and worth the $2.75." The FDA: We are familiar with no scientific evidence which indicates that deficiency of vitamins has any bearing of whether make-up will stay put, curls remain in the hair, or nail polish adheres to the finger nails.

18 Early Concerns How will I know that I am getting sufficient vitamins? What is a well-balanced diet? What are the effects of modern modes of food production and processing?

19 Early Insurance Claims There is one way of being of the safe side, however--that is to add a sufficiently large factor of safety to the average minimum vitamin requirement to cover possible contingencies. Therefore take your vitamin concentrates, increase your vitamin-rich foods, if you will. You are following a perfectly safe dietary insurance program. Walter Eddy, January 1939

20 Miles One-A-Day Vitamins Dispute with Food and Drug Administration Proposed You will not get the greatest benefits from ONE-A-DAY tablets unless you take them regularly.

21 FDAs Objection to Proposed Label The label "implie[d] that it is necessary in order to fully protect the user from vitamin A and D deficiencies that the product be taken every day. This does not appear to be in accord with generally accepted scientific opinions."

22 Miles Revised Label "One-A-Day" (brand) Vitamins A and D Tablets furnish an easy, inexpensive way to insure that you get enough of these essential Vitamins. Why not put the bottle on the breakfast table as a pleasant reminder to make taking a tablet every day a part of your daily routine?

23 Miles One-A-Day Advertisement, 1941

24 A Consumers Response to the Controversy "Yes, we have vitamin bottles on our breakfast table. But just as some days my family does not eat their 'standard American diet,' so too on many days I forget to pass out the vitamins. I think it evens itself out in the long run."

25 Recent Claims At some point, while researchers work on figuring out where the truth lies, it just makes sense to say that potential benefit [of vitamin supplementation] outweighs the cost. (Time, 31 Dec. 2001/7 Jan. 2002, 158 (28): 150.)

26 Recent Claims The choice to use a dietary supplement can be a wise decision that provides health benefits. (FDA Consumer, March-April 2002, 36 (2): Fortify Your Knowledge About Vitamins (FDA video) highlights reasons to consider taking vitamin supplements along with tips for doing so safely. 37.htm 10/28/ htm


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