CDC: kids need more low-fat milk

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Young boy holding up a glass of milk like making a toast. A new report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlights the fact that U.S. children do not consume enough low-fat milk.

The research, published in the CDC report "Low-fat Milk Consumption Among Children and Adolescents in the United States, 2007-2008," shows that about 73 percent of children and teens drink milk, but only about 20 percent of them say they usually drink low-fat milk (skim or 1 percent).

In addition, according to the report, 2 percent milk was reported as the type of milk usually consumed by 45.4 percent of children and adolescents. And adolescents aged 12 – 19 years reported low-fat milk as their usual milk type more often than younger children aged 2 – 5 years.

As noted by USA Today, the research brief notes that drinking milk is important for children's bone health, but CDC experts advise that while young people need the calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients found in milk, children aged 2 and older should consume low-fat milk and milk products to avoid unnecessary fat and calories.

In summary, the authors say that “The overall low consumption of low-fat milk suggests the majority of children and adolescents do not adhere to recommendations by Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 and the American Academy of Pediatrics for all children aged 2 years and over to drink low-fat milk.”

The report is published in a September National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief.

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Patti Shinn    
Michigan  |  September, 20, 2011 at 07:27 AM

We as dairy farmers believe in the benefits of milk. Our 6yo twin boys drink whole milk; one drinks 2 quarts a day at times, the only only a glass or two. They are 1 pound apart in weight, and 1 inch difference in height. They are both ACTIVE, limited to 1 hour of TV per day, NO video games, and we do not have a steady diet of processed foods or sweets, as well as limited 'pop', and use only 100% juice drinks (not those 'contains only 5% juice). I do drink chocolate milk as well. They are thin and healthy. Our pediatrician sees no problem with our consumption of whole milk versus low fat milk. I believe the key to decreasing obesity (which this article is aiming at but doesn't broach) is activity level and healthy food choices AND a strict adherence to 11 to 12 hours of sleep each night.

David Avila    
Oakdale, California  |  September, 20, 2011 at 01:14 PM

I believe "low fat" milk was the worst thing for both the dairy industry and our children. Being one raised on raw milk and my children with whole milk, realize milk is good for you AND FAT IS GOOD FOR YOU. Whole milk tastes good because of the fat. Milk consumption is down because the industry has shot itself in the foot with non-fat and low-fat milk WHICH HAVE LITTLE OR NO FLAVOR. The flavorful fat is GONE!!! Other industries have "created" their markets with flavor. A great example is Gallo Wines. Forty years ago, they started with Boon's Farm and other flavored wines to start young people with a habit of drinking wine. They did this for their plan was to create high end wines in the future knowing the profit margin will be higher. By training the consumers of the future, they created their market for today. A great strategy that has worked. The dairy industry has adopted the OPPOSITE strategy and that is working as well- LESS CONSUMPTION!!! Moreover, I agree with Patti Shinn as well.

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