Got PMS? Drink Milk! (or not)
|August 2, 2011||Posted by Lauren under Public Health Rambles|
I’m not sure where I was at the time, but apparently last month the California Milk Processor Board launched a new ad campaign (along with a corresponding website) that has gotten everyone talking. I only learned about it after they took the website down and started responding to the criticsism. Typical.
But on the off-chance that you also don’t know what I’m referring to, let me enlighten you.
Based on a study that found milk can reduce the symptoms of PMS (more on that in a minute), the campaign features some concerned and nervous-looking men with cartons of milk – apparently in a desperate attempt to calm the hormone-crazy, raging women in their lives.
Here are a few of them. What do you think?
These ads went along with a website: EverythingIDoIsWrong.org. That site, which has now been taken down and replaced with gotdiscussion.org, was a guide for poor men all over the world who find themselves victims of PMS. It had “Global PMS Level” readings, an emergency milk locator, and a “mistake verification system” where you could type in what you think you did wrong….and I’m assuming it spit back an extremely witty, yes everything you do is wrong, type of answer.
Now when you type that address into your browser, it redirects to a new “Got Discussion” site, where the Milk Board pulls in articles that both support and speak out against the campaign. Pretty genius, really. Because even though their campaign apparently wasn’t all that successful, they can now keep the discussion going about it, and keep getting publicity. When you’re trying to sell something, any press is good press, right?
Anyway, before I start babbling on about the campaign myself, I really want to know what you all think! Is the campaign sexist and stupid? …or just stupid? Or do you find it really funny? I know a lot of my readers are female – are you females offended by this? And for any males who might be reading this, what do you think?? (don’t be afraid to speak your mind – I promise there will be no PMS-induced wrath coming from this woman).
Just quickly – before I turn the discussion over to you, the one thing that I do want to touch on is the studies. The campaign references 2 studies – one from 1998 (yes, 13 years ago) that claims that deficiencies in calcium and vitamin D can contribute to the symptoms of PMS (women have lower levels of calcium during their menstrual cycle and taking calcium supplements can help relieve some of the symptoms). The second study is from 2005, and basically claims that calcium can reduce the symptoms of PMS.
I don’t want to bore you with details about how these studies were conducted, etc, but I just want to say – you can find studies to support anything. Really, you can. And if you read these two, you’ll see it’s not just milk that helps (but it’s also obvious why the Milk Board has chosen to focus on milk alone). So just be careful how you interpret things, and don’t believe everything you read. (Yes, I know…this is common sense, but it can’t hurt to have a reminder).
And in case you don’t want to comment but still want to weigh in, here’s a poll!
What do you think?