Activia health claims were a little overblown -- even for yogurt

Yogurt’s good for you -- but apparently not quite as good as Dannon says it is. The yogurt maker will pay out $21 million to settle charges of deceptive advertising that it overstated health benefits for Activia and DanActive yogurt products, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

The settlement refers to unproven health claims. As Julie Deardorff of the Julie’s Health Club blog explains: “Under a proposed settlement, Dannon has agreed, among other things, not to say its yogurt, dairy drink, or probiotic food or drink products reduce the likelihood of getting a cold or the flu, unless the claim is approved by the Food and Drug Administration.” Here’s the FTC’s statement about the settlement.

Activia yogurt also was advertised as helping with irregularity and could help prevent colon cancer -- none of which was proven, the agency says.


Deardorff continues: “A majority of studies found the yogurt product benefited people only moderately – and only if they ate at least three servings each day over the two weeks.”

Don’t worry, yogurt is still good for you. It’s just not that good.