Ad Alert

First Day Teen and Kids Multivitamin Gummies

Supplement company doesn’t have the proper scientific evidence to back up its health claims.

Ad Alert

First Day Teen and Kids Multivitamin Gummies

If you are a parent and are wondering what’s happened to your sweet boy or girl, the medical term is teenager.

First Day advertises that its supplements for rude teens and younger kids address nutritional deficiencies affecting behavior. And not just any kind of behavior – First Day claims its supplements can address several behaviors – including aggression, poor impulse control and learning issues – that are associated with ADHD and other medical conditions.

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While that may sound great to some exasperated parents, the problem is that First Day doesn’t have the proper scientific evidence to back up these claims.

The FTC requires that health-related claims be supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence. And the “scientific studies” that First Day lists in an FAQ on its website don’t seem to fit the bill.

For starters, the studies are all ingredient studies, meaning that none of them examined the actual products being marketed. Among the other issues is the fact that one of the “studies” is actually a review of observational studies, as opposed to an experimental study, which is listed as the “main issue” with drawing any conclusions from the research. It also looked at the association between fruit and vegetable intake and mental health in adults, not children. Another study was published in 1993 – despite First Day’s claims that its supplements are supported by “modern science.”

While the FTC requires a high level of scientific substantiation for these types of health claims – and warns that images of doctors in white lab coats give an impression of scientific legitimacy – the FDA has established that claims to reduce impulsivity and enhance and increase learning are drug claims requiring its approval, which First Day doesn’t have. And while First Day doesn’t explicitly reference ADHD, impulsivity and learning issues are both symptoms of the disorder.

Company responds

In response to a request for comment, First Day said:

We categorically disagree with the assertion that First Day makes claims regarding behavior, impulse control or learning issues. … Unlike many companies in our industry, we do not make any claims regarding behavioral or developmental diagnoses. Our goal is always to educate and talk about real issues families experience.

Nevertheless, the company represented that it would remove the ads at issue, as well as review its marketing.

The bottom line

Remember, readers, marketing supplements as having the ability to treat, cure, alleviate the symptoms of, or prevent developing diseases and disorders is simply not permitted by law.

Families looking for help with their children’s aggression, impulsivity or learning issues should consult with their children’s health care provider.

Find more of our coverage on supplements here.

Our Ad Alerts are not just about false and deceptive marketing issues, but may also be about ads that, although not necessarily deceptive, should be viewed with caution. Ad Alerts can also be about single issues and may not include a comprehensive list of all marketing issues relating to the brand discussed.

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