Milk-drinking media campaign in Kenya: Is the message accurately framed?

Why Milk Campaign ad

The Kenya Dairy Board and several large-scale milk processors in the country recently launched a media campaign aimed at encouraging the Kenyan public to drink more milk. The campaign, it would seem, is targeted at the younger generation, seeing as the slogan is “Stay young, do milk”.

Pictured above is a recent newspaper advert featuring an image of milk-drinking, “bling-bling” toddlers below which is some brief information on why drinking milk is good for general health, nails, skin and muscles.

While I’m all for a campaign to get Kenyans to drink more milk, I wonder as to the effectiveness of using an image of toddlers drinking milk (which is what toddlers do anyway) to encourage teenagers/the youth to drink milk because it’s something “cool” to do.

Another issue I have with the whole campaign is that it seems to be encouraging the consumption of processed, packaged milk (considering who the sponsors of the campaign are) yet it is well known that in sub-Saharan Africa, the prevalence of lactose intolerance in the adult population is as high as 80%.

That being the case, why not instead encourage the consumption of our traditional fermented milk products? After all, studies have shown them to have probiotic properties, and the fermentation of lactose to lactic acid helps to minimize the gastric distress experienced by lactose intolerant persons when they drink fresh milk.

I think I’ll expound more about the health properties of traditional fermented milk products in another blog post…

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