If you drink milk, and you’re not a hard-gainer trying to pack on muscle mass, your milk should be low fat – skim or 1%. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said recently that nearly 73% of kids and teenagers consume milk, which is good, but then only around 20% of them tend to consume the low-fat variety. In fact, about 45% of them choose reduced-fat milk (2 percent), while 32% claim to regularly consume whole-fat milk.
I’ve been complaining about this for years, and I’m glad someone is finally echoing my sentiments. For babies and toddlers I can see using whole or 2% milk, because they need a ton of good nutrition to grow up strong. However, I have always believed that kids in pre-k, k, and elementary school should switch to 1% or skim milk. There really is no need to add extra milk fat into a child’s diet, not when American kids are clearly, on average, the most obese children in the world.
Researchers and experts collectively agree that the low consumption of low-fat milk implies that most kids and teenagers don’t live by the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Academy of Pediatrics, who state that kids ages 2 and older should drink low-fat milk. Recent efforts by both First Lady Michelle Obama, and the Surgeon General promote the consumption of low-fat milk and water over sweetened beverages. Adhering to these suggestions will help you and your child avoid dangerous conditions such as obesity and diabetes.
There are many people in today’s fitness world who do not believe in drinking milk, or consuming any dairy products at all. They believe that once humans are weened from their mother’s milk, there’s no need to start drinking milk from a completely different species. Lactose intolerance is another issue – why would so many humans be lactose intolerant if dairy products are supposed to be part of our diet?
What is your stance on the dairy issue?
Some people might also point out that kids have been drinking whole milk for hundreds of years. Even back in the mid 1900s, there was no skim or 1% milk option, and the problem of American obesity was not a problem. So why would we start drinking low-fat milk now, when the introduction of low-fat milk into the American diet coincided with the increase in American obesity? Clearly you can’t draw the conclusion that low-fat milk perpetuated American obesity, but you also can’t say that it helped.
What is your stance on whole milk vs. low-fat milk?