As evidence of the importance of animal-source foods, Turk cited a study conducted by the Global Livestock Collaborative Services Support Program that measured the impact of diets supplemented with meat and milk in 544 Kenyan school children over a 23-month period.
“Those children that received meat in their diets gained 30% to 80% of lean body mass during the 23 months of the study,” Turk says. “Those that received milk but no meat in their diets showed a positive gain in height.”
The study also indicates that animal source foods are a predictor of cognitive function. Turk also cited a study conducted by the University of Southern Australia that demonstrated consuming dairy products at least once per day “is associated with a significant improvement in a range of mental functions, including abstract reasoning.”
Turk says research underscores the importance of livestock production to human health and food security. “The behavior response of children receiving animal-source foods in their diets is very positive. They are more active and more dynamic.”
Read more news from the 2011 AABP here.