Advertising For Vitamins and Minerals

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Advertising For Vitamins and Minerals

1. Introduction

1.1 This Part applies to the following categories of advertisements:
(i) Those for medicinal products whether licensed or exempt from licensing.
(ii) Those for food products which claim or imply therapeutic or prophylactic qualities.
(iii) Those for cosmetic or toiletry products which claim or imply therapeutic or prophylactic qualities.
(iv) Those for any product which is advertised, whether wholly or in part, upon the basis that it may improve, restore or maintain the user’s health or physical or mental condition.

1.2 This Part does not apply to those advertisements for medicinal products which have been licensed and where the advertisement is consistent with the terms of such a license.

2. Foods

2.1 There are also restrictions and requirements affecting advertisements for food under the relevant legislation.

2.2 Vitamins and minerals are essential for all ages for the maintenance of physical and mental health and well-being. The daily requirements of normal healthy individuals are generally available from a full, properly prepared and well balanced daily diet.

2.3 Vitamins and minerals are present in the foods which make up this diet and mention may be made of the vitamin and mineral contribution of a particular product.

3. General

3.1 Many healthy persons supplement their diet with either single or multi- vitamin/ mineral supplements as a general safeguard. Advertisements for vitamin/mineral supplements may mention the vitamin or mineral contribution of the product but care should be taken to avoid the suggestion that:-
(i) Supplements can take the place of a balanced diet;
(ii) Consuming a vitamin supplement is necessary to avoid dietary deficiency;
(iii) The consumption of additional vitamins or minerals will enhance normal good health;
(iv) The addition of a vitamin supplement to a balanced diet will provide any therapeutic benefit to persons in normal good health; and
(v) The addition of a vitamin supplement to the diet will enhance good looks, elevate mood, increase ability or performance.

4. Specific

4.1 While there is no evidence of general widespread vitamin or mineral deficiency there are instances where vitamin/mineral supplements in the diet of an individual who is under medical supervision may be appropriate. In assessing the appropriateness of claims made for the content of vitamin and mineral products, the authorities will have regard to the specific evidence available and to the recommendation published. Those who may require vitamin supplements include:
(i) Those who live alone and often do not trouble to prepare fresh or adequate meals;
(ii) Those who tend to eat nutritionally inadequate snacks, or foods which have been over cooked or kept hot for long periods thus losing most of their content of some vitamins and minerals;
(iii) The elderly and others who, through various disabilities including apathy, fail to prepare or consume full, varied and properly balanced meals.
(iv) Children and adolescents who, because of fads, do not have a properly balanced diet;
(v) People who embark upon a weight-reducing diet without professional advice;
(vi) People convalescing from an illness who have leeway to make up in their nutrition;
(vii) Athletes in training and those in very physically active occupations; (viii) Women of child-bearing age who may need supplementary iron;
(ix) Lactating women, who have increased dietary requirements of vitamin and minerals; and
(x) Pregnant women, who have increased dietary requirements of vitamins and minerals, and who have been personally and professionally advised to supplement their diet.

5. Illness

5.1 It should be noted that although there may be some depletion of vitamin stored during illness it may not be claimed that the replacement of such vitamin will influence recovery, either by speed or degree.

5.2 In serious illness, and in some diseases, an individual’s intake or utilisation of dietary vitamins and minerals may be impaired and the intake needs to be augmented. The prescription of vitamins and minerals in those cases should be the province of the doctor, and self-medication should not be encouraged.

6. Cosmetics

6.1 There is no generally accepted medical evidence that the application of vitamin to the skin is in any way beneficial or that it has any effect either in promoting suntan or preventing sunburn.

6.2 Advertisement claims for vitamins in cosmetics should be restricted to a statement that the product contains a specified vitamin or vitamins.

Advertising For Vitamins and Minerals