12,000 doctors and physicians have demanded an end to current recommendations for children to drink cow’s milk in the US.
The American Heart Association (AHA) currently has guidelines recommending cow’s milk as a healthy drink for kids younger than five years old.
The “Healthy Drinks, Healthy Kids” approves both human breast milk and cow’s milk for children less than five years old and discourages the use of plant-based milk.
The guidelines were endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
However, 12,000 doctors and members of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) insist that AHA must withdraw its recommendation over children consuming cow’s milk.
Susan Levin, MS, RD, a registered dietitian with PCRM, said: “While we support the recommendations for breast milk and water, the guidelines promoting cow’s milk are harmful to children.”
The PCRM argued that milk is known to be the primary source of saturated fat in children’s diets and several studies have pointed out that milk does not contribute to bone health and is linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.
In addition, lactose intolerance (the inability to digest the sugar found in milk) affects more than 65 percent of the human population.
Levin explained: “Children can get all the calcium they need from nondairy sources such as beans, tofu, broccoli, kale, collard greens, breads, cereals, and nondairy, calcium-fortified beverages, without any of the health detriments associated with dairy product consumption.”
Dairy Industry Lobby
According to PCRM, the National Dairy Council is known to make annual membership payments to the American Heart Association, which the group argues has encouraged the committee to chalk out guidelines that favors dairy milk over non-dairy alternatives.
“It is important to note, too, that these new guidelines on preferred beverages for children that favored milk were funded in part by the dairy industry,” Levin highlighted.
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