Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Chocolate Milk, it Does a Body Bad

I cut this absolutely obscene ad out of this month's Chatelaine magazine (click it to get a larger image).

It depicts a toddler with a jackhammer and implies that for the sake of his health his parents should give him the two daily glasses of chocolate milk that the Canada's Food Guide directly espouses.

"As a parent you want to do all that you can to prepare them for the future. And that includes giving them plenty of milk. Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating recommends kids get at least two servings of milk, chocolate milk, or milk products every single day"
As many of you know I testified before the House of Commons Standing Committee on health regarding the Food Guide and childhood obesity and you probably also know that the Committee two weeks ago released their damning report on the state of childhood obesity in Canada.

Canada has the 5th heaviest children in the developed world, with 26% of young adults aged 2-17 overweight or obese and hence the dire implication therein that this generation of children won't outlive their parents.

Unfortunately the Committee was silent on the issue of Canada's Food Guide.

Not so silent were the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Canadian Diabetes Association and the Dietitians of Canada, all of whom gloriously praised the virtues of this guide.

Perhaps they're hoping that it will help build their respective businesses?

Who cares if long term epidemiological studies fail to tie in high levels of milk consumption with lower levels of osteoporotic fractures? Who cares if higher levels of dairy consumption have been shown to be associated with increased incidences of ovarian cancer and fatal and aggressive prostate cancers?

For goodness sakes people, it came from a cow so it has to be healthy! Didn't you know, God put cows on earth as magical, majestic, nutritional miracles? Why they provide us with milk and red meat the two healthiest substances known to man....at least according to the folks who farm them.

Yup, give your toddlers 2 glasses of chocolate milk a day. It's almost the Caloric equivalent of 1 Litre of Coca Cola. That's smart! That's good for our country! That won't raise rates of diabetes or heart disease!

Once again, I can't blame the milk industry, they're just trying to hawk their wares, but I sure hope Health Canada gets a big commission - it'll need one to help pay for the rapid increase in diseases like diabetes if in fact Canadian parents pay heed to the very unwise recommendation to feed their children two glasses of chocolate milk daily and help their children gain as much as 36lbs per year from the liquid Calories therein.

Once again, shame on you Health Canada, you're failing our nation and our children, and shame on any registered dietitian or health professional affiliated with the milk industry who isn't speaking out about this outrageous advertising campaign.