GLOBAL – Dairy industry experts have again defended milk’s nutritional value after a Swedish study linked milk consumption and lower life expectancy.
The study, which monitored over 100,000 adults, concluded that high milk intake resulted in higher mortality in a group of men and women and higher fracture incidence in women.
Such findings should be treated with caution, said the Dairy Council in a press release arguing the case for milk as a food with ‘well-documented’ nutritional benefits.
Director Dr Anne Mullen said: “Scientists, including the authors of this research, vehemently warn that observational studies such as this should be viewed with caution.
She added that many studies ‘contradict the findings’ of the Swedish study, citing a similar study in Japan.
Published this month, the Japanese results associated milk with lover all-cause mortality in men and women.
The reaction comes only a day after the Dairy Makes a Difference to Diet and Sustainability, held in London where a Reading University paper was revealed making the case that milk forms part of a healthy diet.
The findings include:
• Dairy makes a significant contribution to nutrient intake and health
• Dairy intake is associated with ‘healthier’ eating patterns in the UK
• Dairy consumption is associated with cardiovascular disease risk reduction
Summarising the findings, Dr Mullen said: “This is further evidence that dairy forms part of a healthy balanced diet and provides a range of very valuable nutrients.
“Milk and dairy play an important role in the UK diet and are fundamental for the health of the nation.”
Dr Judith Bryans, Dairy UK chief executive was keen to stress the nutritional and environmental value of the dairy sector.
She said: "The global dairy supply chain is committed to providing an ever increasing world population with safe, nutritious dairy foods in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way.
“Today's event showcases just how seriously the dairy industry takes its health and environmental credentials.”
Ray Keatinge, DairyCo, Head of Research and Development, said: "By continuing to focus on environmental performance, and adapting production systems to make the best use of non-renewable resources, dairy has an incredibly important role to play in the future of sustainable production and consumption.”