We’ve all heard arguments against serving sugary beverages like certain juices and soda to kids. But there’s a new debate heating up over milk consumption and whether or not the white stuff is actually nutritious or just an overhyped health drink.
Time magazine recently reported about a recent petition drawn up by the doctor’s group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) asking the U.S. government to remove milk from the required food group list on the National School Lunch Program. The PCRM argues that since “Milk is high in sugar, high in fat and high in animal protein” any benefits to bone strength are outweighed by the unhealthful content of the beverage.
The PCRM’s stance on milk consumption may be surprising to many who have always lived by the “milk does a body good” motto, but recent research into the real health benefits of this dairy product show that it may not be as healthy as we think.
Studies following both children and postmenopausal women show that whether they drank milk regularly or not both groups had equal chances of suffering fractured bones. President of PCRM, Dr. Neal Barnard explains, “One of the only reasons people talk about dairy, or promote it at all, is because it is going to help build strong bones. Research has now made it abundantly clear that milk doesn’t build strong bone. Whether we are talking about children who are forming bones or older people who are trying to keep their bone integrity, milk doesn’t have a beneficial effect on either one.”
Part of the solution for anti-milk drinkers is for kids to get calcium from other more healthful sources that contain less saturated fats, sugars, and animal protein. But those who argue that milk should stay on the menu at school feel that a lot of kids aren’t getting the nutrients from other foods to begin with and taking away milk would just serve to make matters worse.
What do you think of the current petition to ban milk from school lunches?
Do you feel that milk is an essential part of your family’s diet?