Friday, January 9, 2009

Appeton Weight Gain, helping underweight Sri Lankans or Overweight Food Industry?

"Appeton Weight Gain to help the underweight Sri Lankans" was the heading of an advertisement appeared in the Daily News of January 8, 2009, promoting the above formula for adults and children.

Undernutrition is undoubtebdly a serious health problem in Sri Lanka. On average 1 in 3 of children are undernurished. This has given rise to many health problems, with longterm complications. Povery and nutritional myths are amongst the main contributors for malnutrition.

"The issue of weight gain is very much misunderstood in Sri lanka," the above article says, how ever, I am very concerned if the above product promoter undersatnds the issue of weight gain in Sri Lanka at least partially. According to the above article, chidren are underweight due to "poor appetite". The reasons given for "poor appetite" are illness, deprssion, long term medication and deficiency of vitamins and minerals.

Any health personal who has worked in this country, know the real causes for undernutrition among children and adults. Poverty is the number one cause for underweight. Research have clearly shown that malnutrition is more prevelant among poor communities. In addition, a whole range of nutritional myths contribute to malnutrition. Social issues such as alcohol consumption and inabiltiy to choose nutritious food with the avilable resources are two causes for malnutrition.
In the above advertisement, the product has been promoted as a miraculous formula which helps you to gain.. gain .. and gain more weight. It gives a list of pseudoscientifc justifications which have not been referenced to clinically proven data. We compared the nutritional value of an egg (50g) with 50g of Appeton Weight Gain.

From the above table, it is clear that there is nothing magical for one to spend for Appeton Weight Gain instead of one or two eggs per day! Considering the sky high price of the product cannot be afforded by majority of Sri lankans who are underweight.

Appeton Weight Gain spends huge amounts of money on promotional activities ranging from painting buses with advertisements to providing general practitioners with Appeton sponsored name borads through direct to consumer advertising as the one discussed hear. The fact is that this product or any other of similar kind will not help underweight peple or children to gain weigt but definitely help food inductry to gain...gain... and gain more profit!

The promotor is confusing the reader with two issues: the product as an appetitie stimuliser and the product as a nutritiously miraculous product. The issue is whehter appetite stimulants can be promoted to the consumers directly.

This is another good exmple of how food industry deceives their customers. Safer Sri Lanka raised concerns over "Actign E" few months ago. Legal action has been filed against the above adverteisement.
It is high time that Sri Lankan food and drug regulatory mechanism raise their voice to stop this unsceintific therefore unethical promotion.


Anonymous said...

very nice article,,,, Acai Berry Reviews

Dr.Dil said...

so this weight gain is not gud to have????i have plan to drink this milk......i want gain sum weight????

Dragon-hunter95 said...

Hello I am a Medical student and found your blog as a incidental finding..

However most of your articles are well organized and informative. Also I think you are doing this with a nice will. Hope you reach that soon