The Yukon government's recent bid to ensure residents are receiving enough Vitamin D is getting a rise out of the social media masses.
The department of Health and Social Services recently rolled out a campaign exhorting residence of the sun-deprived territory to ensure they're getting enough vitamin D.
But the kind of activity the campaign wound up promoting is arguably best accomplished indoors.
The department's "we all need the D'' campaign, using a common slang term for the penis, quickly went viral and spawned giggly dismay across social media.
— Tempe O'Kun (@tempo321) January 25, 2016
Many of the comments voiced incredulity that the Yukon government could have commited such a gaffe without realizing how the message would be interpreted.
But the department itself says the campaign was not wholly accidental, adding the bid to target a younger crowd got a little out of hand. It tweaked the ad earlier this week in the face of the mockery.
"When trying to reach a young adult audience, Health and Social Services often reaches for provocative and humorous messaging, to great success,'' the government said in a statement.
"However, what was considered cheeky messaging on our Vitamin D campaign escalated to ribald humour, taking the campaign into graphic areas that were never intended.''
The original campaign consisted of a handful of posters asking what, in hindsight, proved to be some provocative questions.
One ad asked Yukon residents: "How do you do the D?'' Another depicted a woman gazing at a plate of fish with the caption: "Need a little help . . . with your daily D?"
Another poster showed a man musing about how he managed to reach his 30s without realizing that he, too, needed to "do the D.''
It didn't take long for the ads to arouse widespread mockery, with U.S. websites BuzzFeed and Jezebel among those posting items and weighing in with glee as social media users laughed at what they believed to be an oversight.
The Yukon government ad has been replaced. (Photo: Yukon Health and Social Services)
"Counting down to a population boom in the Yukon in 3...2...1,'' wrote one Twitter user.
"Do guys just naturally get the D?'' quipped another.
The Yukon government ad now simply asks: "Have you taken your vitamin D today?''
And despite the embarrassment caused by the original campaign, the department maintained that it had left them more than satisfied.
"While the campaign had some unexpected results, such as being mentioned in BuzzFeed, we definitely hit our target audience and beyond,'' the statement read, going on to point out websites that prominently mentioned the real purpose of the ad blitz in their coverage. "This is the entire point of the campaign.''
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If you're going to choose a fish dish, go with salmon. An oily fish high in vitamin D, salmon also has omega 3 fats, protein, vitamin B12 and selenium. "If you eat the soft bones in half a can of salmon (105 grams) you will be consuming almost as much calcium as in a glass of milk," says registered dietitian dietitian Shauna Lindzon.
Another oily fish high in vitamin D and omega 3 fats, mackerel is also rich in vitamins A, B6, B12, C, E and K. Lindzon adds pregnant women, however, should limit mackerel consumption because of its high mercury content.
Sardines are loaded with vitamin B12, selenium, omega 3 fats, protein and vitamin D. "Sardines are very perishable, so eat them when they are fresh," Lindzon says. And since they are smaller fish, they contain lower levels of mercury. Watch out for canned sardines, which may be filled with extra sodium.
Beef liver is a high protein, high cholesterol food choice, Lindzon says. It's high in vitamin B6, B12, and also contains a large amount of dietary iron.
Milk is often called "nature's perfect food", because it's a rich source of many different vitamins and minerals, including calcium, vitamin D and B.
The nutrients in egg yolks differ greatly from egg whites. Egg yolks are high in cholesterol, fat and fat-soluble vitamins including vitamins A, D, E and K.
There are a variety of non-cow milks on the market that are also fortified with vitamin D — perfect for those of you who are vegan or have a lactose intolerance. "Certain brands of soy, rice, almond, and hemp milks have similar vitamins to cow's milk because of the fortification process," Lindzon says.
Mushrooms (all of their edible varieties) have many cancer fighting properties and are a great source of vitamin D.
"When reading labels of breakfast cereals, it is important to choose ones with a high fibre content (more than 4 to 5 grams) and low sugar content (less than 8 grams)," Lindzon says. Adding milk or a milk substitute to a breakfast cereal boosts the calcium, vitamin A, D, and protein content.
There are some orange juices on the market that have calcium and vitamin D added to them. "This fortified orange juice provides people with an option to increase their vitamin intake if they don't consume milk," Lindzon says. However, it is important to note that orange juice lacks the fibre that is in the original orange, and some boxed varieties may have an excessive amount of sugar.
"It is important to check the nutrition labels of yogurts to see if they have vitamin D added," Lindzon says. When choosing yogurts, choose ones that are low in added sugar and high in vitamins.
Cheese is derived from milk, and therefore has the same beneficial vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin D.