Eat More Dairy

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iStockphoto.com/Lise Gagne
Federal guidelines recommend more low-fat and fat-free dairy products for U.S. consumers.

The new 2010
Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) encourages 3 daily servings of low-fat
or fat-free milk and milk products for adults and children 9 years and older.
For children ages 4 to 8, the recommendation was increased from 2 to 2.5
servings, and for children ages 2 to 3, the recommendation remains 2 servings.
Most Americans fail to meet these recommendations, even though they have been
previously established by the DGA and supported by independent health
organizations.

The DGA
emphasizes the importance of establishing good milk drinking habits at a young
age, as those who consume milk at an early age are more likely to do so as
adults.

Today, the U.S.
dairy industry joins the federal government in urging most Americans to add one
more serving of low-fat and fat-free dairy each day as they strive for
healthier lifestyles that reflect DGA recommendations. According to the DGA,
current evidence shows intake of milk and milk products is linked to improved
bone health, especially in children and adolescents. In addition, intake of
milk and milk products is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular
disease, type 2 diabetes and lower blood pressure in adults.

The dairy food group
(milk, cheese and yogurt) is a substantial contributor of many nutrients in the
U.S. diet that are important for good health, including calcium, potassium,
phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, protein, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and
riboflavin. And milk is the No. 1 food source of three of the four nutrients
the DGA identified as lacking in the American diet – calcium, vitamin D and
potassium.

The new DGA
includes a variety of dietary patterns that support a healthy lifestyle, and
dairy foods fit for most everyone. For those who are sensitive to lactose, the
DGA recommends low-lactose and lactose-free milk products. For those who follow
vegetarian diets, the DGA recommends milk and other dairy foods because they
supply essential nutrients that can be hard to get from other foods.

One dairy
serving is equal to an 8-ounce glass of white or flavored milk, an 8-ounce cup
of yogurt, 1 1/2 ounces of natural cheese or 2 ounces of processed cheese. The
DGA emphasizes choosing lower fat options, and there are many affordable and
appealing products in the marketplace. The dairy industry is working with
farmers, dairy foods companies and consumers to develop an even wider array of
products – including cheeses with lower sodium and fat levels and flavored milk
with less added sugar – that can help Americans meet the 2010 DGA
recommendations without compromising on taste.

For scientific
information on the role of dairy foods in lifelong health, visit the website of
the National Dairy Council.

National Dairy
Council® is the nutrition research, education and communications arm of Dairy
Management Inc™. On behalf of U.S.
dairy farmers, NDC provides science-based nutrition information to, and in
collaboration with, a variety of stakeholders committed to fostering a
healthier society, including health professionals, educators, school nutrition
directors, academia, industry, consumers and media.

The National
Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), based in Arlington, Virginia,
develops and carries out policies that advance the well being of dairy
producers and the cooperatives they own. The members of NMPF’s 31 cooperatives
produce the majority of the U.S.
milk supply, making NMPF the voice of more than 40,000 dairy producers on
Capitol Hill and with government agencies. Visit the NMPF website for more
information.

The
International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C.,
represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industries and their
suppliers, with a membership of 550 companies representing a $110-billion a
year industry. IDFA is composed of three constituent organizations: the Milk
Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI) and the
International Ice Cream Association (IICA). IDFA’s 220 dairy processing members
run more than 600 plant operations, and range from large multi-national
organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent more than 85
percent of the milk, cultured products, cheese and frozen desserts produced and
marketed in the United
States. For more information, visit the
IDFA’s website

The Milk
Processor Education Program (MilkPEP), Washington,
D.C., is funded by the nation’s
milk processors, who are committed to increasing fluid milk consumption. The
National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board, through MilkPEP, runs the
National Milk Mustache “got milk?”(R) Campaign, a multi-faceted
campaign designed to educate consumers about the health benefits of milk. For
more information, go to the MilkPEP website. Deutsch, A Lowe and
Partners Company, is the creative agency for the National Milk Mustache
“got milk?”(R) Campaign.