By Isabel Davies

A 3M CAMPAIGN to convince teenage girls to eat cheese and yogurt and drink more milk has been launched by the Milk Development Council.

 The multimedia campaign, which will run for two years, has been prompted by an MDC survey which found that nearly 75% of girls between the ages of 10 and 20 are failing to eat three dairy products a day.

As a consequence, there is concern that young women are unlikely to be taking in enough calcium to protect against osteoporosis in the future.

Dubbed Naturally Beautiful, the campaign will bolster the amount of calcium that teenage girls consume by focusing on the beautifying nutrients found in dairy products.

MDC marketing manager Vicky Hathaway said: “There are 2.25m girls aged 11-16 in Great Britain. If every one of them drank just one extra glass of milk a day, that is 164m extra litres of milk a year.

 “We”re aiming to make eating dairy a healthy habit, so that we”ll see increases in consumption among these girls for the rest of their lives.”

A range of media will be used in the marketing campaign to make sure that young girls pick up the message that eating dairy products will benefit their skin, bones and hair.

 Each product – milk, cheese and yogurt – will have its own advert and there will be a fourth advertisement, targeting mums which will highlight the invisible threat of calcium deficiency.

It is believed there is a lack of knowledge among mothers. Research suggests many are unaware of the optimum daily intake levels of calcium and some also have the misconception that all dairy products contain high levels of fat.

The campaign is being funded by 1.5m from the EU Commission and 1.5m of the MDC”s money. It will build on the success of the Milk Moustache promotion which has been running over the past two years. This promotion has featured celebrities such as model Nell McAndrew and the bands Blue and Mis-Teeq.

 The Food Standards Agency recommends an adult should have one glass (200ml) of semi-skimmed milk, a small pot (150g) of low-fat fruit yogurt and 40g of hard cheese to meet their daily calcium requirements.

isabel.davies@rbi.co.uk