Here’s the copy from this ad for Flintstone Gummies Vitamins:
Flintstones is the only complete gummie multivitamin with extra choline. It’s a nutrient found in breast milk that helps support healthy brain function.
Isn’t the kid in the ad a little old to be linked with copy that talks about nutrients found in breast milk? She looks like she’s about five-years-old. Does she need the kind of nutrients found in breast milk?
This ad’s intent is to make parents think they’re being bad parents if they don’t give their kids vitamins containing choline. After all, the ad says kids need choline, so they must need choline, right? Never mind the disclaimer that says the statement in the copy “has not been evaluated” by the FDA.
According to Professor Steven Ziesel,who runs the Department of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina’s School of Public Health in Chapel Hill and is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry:
…let’s say we go out to the health food store and take a choline pill too many times, our bacteria in our gut break down if it reaches them, and we only have bacteria in the lower end of our gut, so if it isn’t absorbed by the time it gets to the lower end, bacteria break it up and make a fishy smell, so you don’t want to take too much free choline or you begin to smell like a fish.
..it’s so easy to get choline from milk and from eggs and from meats, that there’s nobody who shouldn’t be able to get all the choline they need. The only person I would worry about a supplement seriously is the committed vegetarian.
When the ad says “Moms can trust ’em,” you might ask yourself: why should they?
By Marc Librescu