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The milk wars: Should milk be taken off the school-lunch menu?


The war on milk has shifted fronts. First it was sugar-laden chocolate milk, which parents and school administrators battled in recent years to remove from school-lunch menus. Now, it’s plain old moo that’s under fire.
On Thursday, a national doctors group petitioned the U.S. government to remove milk as a required food group from the National School Lunch Program, the federally assisted program that has provided lunch to millions of public school kids since 1946. The doctors’ reasoning: milk doesn’t help protect kids’ bones.
The promotion of milk to help build strong bones in kids is, “in effect, the promotion of an ineffective placebo,” writes the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) in its petition [PDF]. “Milk is high in sugar, high in fat and high in animal protein” — all of which counters its purported benefits to bone health, the committee argues.
The PCRM notes that dairy products, including milk, are the No. 1 source of saturated fat in Americans’ diets. Drinking milk for the calcium it contains is therefore a losing strategy, especially since people can get their daily recommended calcium from other, more nutritious foods. And for millions of Americans who are allergic to milk — including 1.3 million children — or intolerant to the lactose it contains, drinking milk carries potentially severe health risks.  MORE
Leave The Milk Alone!

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