Product Review: Activia Yogurt

Product: Activia

Cost: $2.49

Recently my Doctor changed my medication, and it caused me to be constipated. I have never had that problem before, and after a week I had to try something. The Activia commercial was on all day, it seemed like. I sent my dear hubby to get me some. He came home and had bought peach and vanilla flavors. I tried the peach first and can not put into words how good it was. The vanilla almost as good and would be terrific as a fruit dip. After eating a couple days got everything working again. Now I have found and tried strawberry, blueberry, and raspberry. They are all super good. Real fruit in them is what impresses me most. My only complaint, the containers are too small containers. I always want more and will admit to eating two every now and again. It's good for me, so what can it hurt - lol!


By Peggy from Cortland, OH

September 2, 20100 found this helpful

If you like the taste, fine, but don't buy Activia expecting any health benefits. I'm a Medical Research Analyst and find their "evidence" flimsy, at best. All of my gastrointestinal colleagues also find it laughable. When Activia first came out, an expert on Good Morning America echoed this. In fact, I can't find one medical professional who supports Activia's claims based on empirical evidence. Most experts see it as overpriced yogurt.

Indeed, a class action false advertising lawsuit against Dannon ended with the company lowering its claims and establishing a $35 million fund to reimburse customers.

As for taste, that's of course subjective. I personally hate the addition of sodium citrate, a preservative that adds a "fizzle." The ingredients also show it to be "artificial" yogurt which seems more like instant pudding than pure yogurts like Breyers. Dannon include things like "fructose syrup, sugar, modified corn starch, whey protein concentrate, kosher gelatin," most of which acts as thickeners or fillers.

If you like this artificial style yogurt and don't believe the health claims, then simply buy the much cheaper store or lesser brands (usually labeled "Swiss style"). Our supermarket sells White Rose yogurt with basically the same ingredients (minus the questionable pro-biotic bacteria) for much less, usually TWO 8oz containers for $1.

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September 2, 20100 found this helpful

As the below article points out, Dannon is basically claiming to solve a problem that most people don't have. They want you to eat their yogurt for 2 weeks, which is a marketing scam. Within that time, all digestive irregularities should resolve themselves WITHOUT any intervention in a healthy person. So how can anyone actually say that it was the $20-$30 worth of Activia that helped? Indeed, the GI tract is highly susceptible to emotions (i.e. "butterflies in the stomach") and placebo effect, so many people will feel better simply because they think they're eating something good. Since most people have no idea whether the Activia actually helped (or more likely, the body corrected itself), and most people are too lazy to apply for a refund (and to save receipts, etc), Dannon makes a huge profit of about $20+ per "irregularity" customer. This is a common marketing scam for snake oil.

As for your problem, it seems to be medication-induced which probably won't be resolved by any pro-biotics. Talk to your physician about it.


Nutrition Health Action Newsletter (Dec 2006), a health advocacy publication, wrote:

"Dannon can point to no research showing that Activia helps people who are bloated and irregular. The company has funded four studies that gave healthy men and women 4 to 12 ounces of Activia a day. 1-4 After two weeks, it took, on average, 10 to 30 fewer hours for food to travel from one end of their GI tracts to the other (called transit time). Speeding up transit time "can lead to a reduction in the quantity of gas present in the digestive tract and a reduction of the bloating sensation in healthy individuals," says Miguel Freitas, Dannon's scientific affairs manager.

But the researchers didn't measure gas output, or even ask the participants if they felt any better, probably because the volunteers weren't suffering from any digestive distress in the first place. In fact, many were chosen precisely because they

had no history of GI tract problems.

Activia may shorten transit time, but would it help people

who suffer from irregularity, bloating, and gas? No one knows.

1 Bioscience and Microfl ora 20: 43, 2001.

2 Aliment. Pharmacol. Ther. 16: 587, 2002.

3 Microb. Ecology Health Dis. 13: 217, 2001.

4 Microb. Ecology Health Dis. 15: 15, 2003."

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September 2, 20100 found this helpful

Here's an excellent article examining Activia's claims:

While it's skeptical about Activia's claims, the author agrees that the yogurt tastes good. Even Dannon itself is implicitly acknowledging that its claims are flimsy. Note how the latest commercials tout its taste and not the supposed health benefits (i.e. Jamie Lee Curtis pushing a cart of free Activia, claiming that "it's beyond tasty").

Tasty, maybe. But is it worth the retail $2.49 over store brands that cost TWO 8 oz containers for $1? Keep in mind that you need 2 weeks worth for their regimen (one study showed that patients actually felt worse the first week as the body adjusts to the new organisms).

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September 2, 20100 found this helpful

I personally prefer to make my own all-natural yogurt which is extremely easy. Put some store-bought yogurt into a container of warm milk,. Then place in a warm place and in a day the yogurt cultures multiply and the milk becomes yogurt. That's it. I place my container on top of the cable box, which is the perfect temperature (90-110F). Just 2 ingredients and about a minute of work.

The homemade yogurt will not be as smooth as these fake yogurts, and will be a bit more tart. Basically, it'll look and taste like Breyer's original yogurts (with the fruit on the bottom). But it's very cheap and all-natural. Simply add some fruit preserves/jams for flavor, or add fresh fruit and sugar (or honey or artificial sweeteners). You can also add milk, and shake to make a drinkable yogurt. ... rl=/giftinajar/homemade-yogurt.shtml

And if you really want to make your homemade yogurt pro-biotic, you can buy cultures online.

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September 2, 20100 found this helpful

Due to a really messed up back and a brain aneurysm, I am on lots of pain medication. I, too, tried the Activia and I, too, love the peach. On occasion, I have been known to have an extra one for it is delicious and it works. I am happy it works for you!

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September 2, 20100 found this helpful

I'm no expert. All I know is that I like Activia. The smaller size container helps me not overeat. It tastes great, it surely doesn't constipate, and it may help with digestive issues. Activia, I'll keep buying you.

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Anonymous Flag
September 2, 20100 found this helpful

I love Activia and my store sells it for 2 packs for $4.00 (8 Activia cups). I have one every night before going to sleep to keep the nightly hunger pains away and it also helps keep my problem with Thrush at bay (caused by breathing meds). My favorite is cherry (sold seasonally) and the next favorite is vanilla with fiber. :-) and I don't care if Activia's claims might be partly bunk because if it works for anyone's particular problem like it does for mine that's all that really matters. Oh, by the way, I've tried every single other brand of yogurt and can't stand them! The other brands make me gag.

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September 7, 20100 found this helpful

As in every product there will always be some that people will like and don't like. Over the years I have eaten every brand made and in my review I am saying for something new it is very good.

My store has it on sale this week for 2 packages for 4.00. Which breaks down to about .40 a piece.

Many years ago I had to be more frugal than I am today and certainly made my own on many occassions.

Being older and in not so good health I don't care what it cost if I like it I buy it.

As I said I love all the flavors I have tried which is, vanilla, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, peach. I actually made a fruit salad for my husband and stirred a vanilla in for a light coating on the fruit. He ate every bit. 'Nough said.

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Anonymous Flag
September 8, 20100 found this helpful

BriannaN, I hope you will continue to hold to your convictions in the future when it comes time to prescribe medications that also tout distorted advertising claims. ;-)

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