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.

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  1. Anonymous11:43 am

    Is all milk on your bad-for-you list? Do you have suggestions for alternate calcium sources for growing teen girls? (I have 3)

  2. Donna P1:38 pm

    Keep fighting the good fight.

    When I see the photo of this sweet child, I try not to envision him in 30 years, with his gut hanging down and his arteries clogged.

  3. In terms of calcium you should know that studies have not been able to link diets higher in calcium with a decrease in osteoporotic fractures. If you're worried about getting enough calcium in your diet, the first thing I would do is ensure you're taking 800-1000IU daily of Vitamin D as without it, whatever calcium is in your diet you won't be absorbing.

    Next I would recommend a zero Calorie calcium supplement. 1250-2500mg daily of plain old calcium carbonate would do just fine and regarding teenage girls, it's safe and likely a good habit to get into as in the next decade they may well decide to have kids of their own and getting enough calcium through pregnancy and breast feeding is indeed important.

  4. How long before baby formula comes in chocolate flavour?

  5. I think you are talking about chocolate milk with lots of sugar in it. Children should take lots of calcium for their bone development. From where do you expect to get that? Soya beans after being in the list of super foods is not being recommended anymore because it can cause thyroid problems.

  6. Anonymous1:57 am

    Get your calcium from dark leafy green vegetables. I know the dairy industry made it ingrained in all of us to believe that calcium only comes from dairy, but it does not. The only thing you get from dairy is blood and puss filled garbage. The human body was not designed to consume it, at all, ever. Cow's milk is for baby cows. There is Soy, Almond, Rice, Hemp and Cashew milk out there. Much more delicious, and it won't kill you, or cows. Everyone wins! Yay!