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Nestle Drops "Boost" Health Claims

Nestle’s Boost Kid Essentials drinks for kids may be good for kids, but they’re not a panacea for all that ails your little ones. Now, Nestle will tell you that up front.

Nestle has agreed to stop claiming its Boost drink for kids has immune benefits. The agreement is part of a settlement with the FTC following investigation of a recent Boost ad campaign.

The ads claimed the drink, which comes with a straw filled with probiotics, could protect kids from colds, diarrhea and other mild illnesses. The ads portrayed Boost as being so good for kids’ immune systems that it would keep kids from missing school due to illness.

The FTC investigated these claims and found there was insufficient scientific evidence to back them up. Nestle admitted no wrongdoing in their settlement, and the company was not fined.

This is the second time in 6 weeks the FTC has investigated a children’s food company for false marketing claims. The FTC says this is business as usual, but some business analysts think they’re coming down harder on food companies than they’ve done in the past.

The focus is on “functional foods”: foods being marketed with added nutrients that supposedly have specific health benefits for the people who drink and eat them. More and more of these foods are hitting supermarket shelves, but their benefits to consumers are often exaggerated in ad campaigns.

Does your family use “functional foods” like Boost? What do you think of the FTC’s move?

Photo: Nestle PR

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