It is hard to determine when the trend of yogurts started. Even though a lot of people have repeatedly questioned the authenticity of yogurt advertisements claiming health benefits, many still are immersed in the “yogurt hoax”.
Advertisements which declare that yogurt can strengthen immunity and maintain beauty are all exaggerations from yogurt manufacturers. So far there has been no official evidence to prove that yogurt can either help people lose weight or maintain beauty.
When did the mystery of the yogurt spread amongst the public? Well, a Russian biologist, Metchnikoff, who was called “the father of human immunology” was the one who talked about its supposed powerful functions. In September 1899, Metchnikoff published an astonishing article in the French Newspaper Le Matin. He said that the Bulgarians have the longest longevity in the world. In a Bulgarian village, there was a mysterious drink called “yogurt” and for every twenty people in this village appeared a centenarian. The longevity rate was much higher than in other regions at that time. The reason why Bulgarians lived longer than others were probably because they loved to drink yogurt. Two months later, Metchnikoff published an article in an academic journal and declared that he found a magical substance in yogurt called “Bulgarian Lactic Acid Bacteria”. People who daily drink this type of “lactic acid bacteria” could live to an age of 150.
Hearing the health benefits of yogurt from such a respectable scientist, the French people went crazy for yogurt. In just five years, the yield of yogurt in the world surged from zero to 11.8 million gallons per year. In the year 1916, Metchnikoff died. He lived for only 71 years. A year later, scientists reinvestigated the mystery and found that Bulgarians in the small village did not have longevity. Then it turned out that Metchnikoff’s comments were all for making money!
European people gradually put down their spoons of drinking yogurt, but the culture of yogurt still spread. Europeans at the time still believed the benefits of yogurt. While yogurt may not bring longevity, it may have some benefit for people!
In the year 1942, the first yogurt factory emerged in the United States and promoted the health benefits of yogurt with weight loss and whitening skin. It caught the attention of the FDA. In the year 1960, the FDA made a strictly scientific analysis of yogurt. Finally, it proved that yogurt and the lactic acid bacteria do not have a function of weight loss, whitening, enhancing immunity, anti-aging and so on. In fact, the nutrition value of yogurt is limited.
Since 1962, the advertising and promotion of yogurt’s health benefits are banned in the United States. Not until the beginning of the 21st century, food manufacturers began adding a type of microbes named “probiotics”. “Probiotics” is actually a broad term. And sadly, the advertisements mentioning the benefits of probiotics for the human body have never been proven conclusively. In 2009, the French yogurt company, Danone was taken to the court by consumers and fined 32 million dollars for its exaggerated advertisement about effects from probiotics. Later it changed its slogan and tagline. In the market, there has been no sufficient evidence to prove that yogurt, Lactobacillus, and probiotics have any effect on weight loss and longevity.
The exaggerated selling of yogurt began a hundred years ago, but many countries had already recognized the truth of yogurt. However, most Chinese consumers are still living in the dark. If you enjoy eating yogurt purely for taste, that is fine. However, do not expect to obtain all kinds of nutrients from yogurts. The slogans of many domestic Chinese yogurt manufacturers would be severely punished if they were used in the European and American market.
Many ignorant people still pay for those unworthy business stunts. The lies of the past continue to plague modern society, which makes people sigh. Who will know when the incredible hoax of yogurt benefits will end.