DUBAI // The Lebanese songstress Nancy Ajram is now the ambassador for the fortified milk brand Anlene.
Ajram, a multi-platinum selling artist, made the announcement in Dubai last night and said she hoped that by promoting the brand she would help to raise awareness about osteoporosis, which the product claims to help treat.
"I want to become a role model for young people in the Middle East to prevent the disease," she said.
Asked whether she drinks the milk, Ajram said: "I do now, two glasses a day."
The powdered milk contains added calcium and vitamin D. About 85 per cent of people in the UAE are deficient in the latter, despite the fact that it comes from direct sunlight.
Dr Humeira Badsha, an osteoporosis expert and founder of the Emirates Arthritis Foundation, said although it looked like a publicity stunt, there was a positive side.
"If Nancy Ajram can raise the profile of bone diseases I'm happy," Dr Badsha said. "I wouldn't think of it as promoting the milk product itself, but just promoting enough calcium intake and vitamin D, however you do it."
Tamer El Ashmawy, regional manager for Anlene's parent company Fonterra, said Ms Ajram was carefully chosen.
"She's an Arab woman who fits the profile," Mr El Ashmawy said, but declined to say how much she was being paid.