There is no magic pill for success at school

Patrick Holford's advert has been challenged.

Patrick Holford's advert has been challenged.

Published Aug 31, 2011


Michelle Jones

Education Writer

TAKING a nutritional supplement will not help pupils achieve at school and advertisers should not claim this, says NGO Equal Education.

The group has lodged a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority of SA (ASA) about an advertisement for Patrick Holford’s “Smart Kids Brain Boost”.

Holford, a widely published author on nutrition and health issues, and producer of a range of health supplements, said he would provide the ASA with evidence to substantiate the advert’s claim.

He is wrapping up a trip to South Africa as part of his “Say no to diabetes” world tour, and is expected to speak in Nairobi tomorrow.

Equal Education, a movement working for quality and equality in education, said in a statement released yesterday that the advert had been aired on several radio stations.

Holford’s website says that the product contains phospholipids, amino acids and vitamin B, which will “nourish your child’s brain to promote learning, memory and focus”.

The website includes research information to substantiate its claims.

Equal Education said the advert’s claims violated several clauses of the ASA advertising code, including one which says “advertisements should not exploit the natural credulity of children or their lack of experience and should not strain their sense of loyalty”.

“The claim that this supplement will improve the school performance of children is unsubstantiated and misleading,” it said.

The group said children could believe the supplement was a short cut to achieving improved results. “It is wrong for Mr Holford to make unsubstantiated claims that take advantage of the desire young people have to succeed in school,” the group said.

“Succeeding in school requires adequate resources, good teachers and hard work.

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