Celebrities join milk health push

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Milk Mdc

A group of UK celebrities led by the footballer Wayne Rooney's
fiancée have linked up with dairy firms to promote the health
benefits of milk among teenage girls.

Coleen Mcloughlin, a regular feature in tabloid papers, will be one of the new faces of the Mild Development Council's (MDC) Naturally Beautiful campaign.

The move is a fresh example of the dairy industry fighting fire with fire against milk critics, who include other prominent public figures.

Heather Mills, the estranged wife of Sir Paul McCartney, said last year that cutting out dairy helped her to recover from a post-operation infection.

Coleen will go a step further by designing a one-off t-shirt for the MDC to help publicise its campaign.

She said, in an MDC release: "It's a huge worry to think that girls are copying celebrities that cut out the dairy food group.

"Milk, cheese and yogurt are a really good source of calcium, B vitamins and essential amino acids, and not only do they help your bones grow but can help keep your skin glowing and your hair healthy."

Around three quarters of girls in the UK aged between 11 and 16 were not getting enough calcium, increasing their risk of developing bone disease osteoporosis later in life, recent research commissioned by the Naturally Beautiful campaign found.

The study also found many girls did not have an accurate picture of milk's fat content.

More generally, around 90 per cent of UK consumers did not know the fat content of milk, and half of those asked over-estimated fat content by more than six times, according to MDC consumer research.

One of the UK's largest dairy processors, Arla Foods UK, sought remedy this recently by placing fat content in large letters on its milk labels.

Arla has joined forces with other top dairy firms around the world, including Campina and Fonterra, to launch a Global Dairy Platform, which intends to share information and ideas on promoting dairy's health benefits.

Question marks remain over the use of celebrities, however.

Celebrities were second-last trusted source in a National Consumer Council survey last year, losing out to several information sources including government agencies and company websites.

"It appears that sole reliance on celebrity influencers like David Beckham is waning due to an increasingly sceptical public," said Philip Monaghan, director at the Accountability group, which published the survey jointly with the NCC.

Related topics Markets Fresh Milk Dairy Health Check

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