Don't Got Milk?

A group of physicians have petitioned USDA officials to consider excluding “dairy milk as a required component of meals under the National School Lunch Program.”


The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine sent a petition to the federal government this month arguing that “scientific evidence demonstrates that consumption of milk offers no health benefits and has several health detriments.”


“The nutritional rationale for including dairy milk in school meal programs was based primarily on its calcium content; therefore dairy milk was presumed to promote bone health and integrity,” the group said in its letter to the USDA. “This supposition has proven false. Abundant evidence has shown that milk has no special effect on bone health and does not prevent fractures in children or adults.”


Noting that calcium can be obtained by consuming other, healthier calcium-rich foods, the group said milk has “high sugar in the form of lactose, animal growth factors, occasional drugs and contaminants and a substantial amount of fat and cholesterol in all but the defatted versions.”


“Dairy products are the number one source of saturated fat in an American’s diet,” they added, suggesting that calcium-enriched soy milk, rice milk and other “non-dairy beverages” would be better for students.


However a “leading nutritional researcher from the American Academy of Pediatrics” told the website BabyCenter that taking the dairy milk requirement out of school lunches would ultimately result in students getting less calcium.


“Milk is a healthy drink for children and it establishes a lifelong pattern,” the doctor told the site. “A ban on milk is not a good idea since established milk drinkers devoid of the choice will drop their nutrient intakes of calcium and vitamin D.”


What do you think? Do your children drink milk on a daily basis?