Milk facts 'debunked'

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Related tags: Milk, Dairy, Dairy council

The popular 'myth' that milk has a high fat content is just one of
many preconceived ideas about the dairy product which the UK Dairy
Council is hoping to dispel with a new campaign targeting women in
particular.

The UK Dairy Council is launching a campaign to debunk some of the myths about milk, such as the belief that it has a high fat content.

The action follows results of a survey which prompted fears that young women could be jeopardising their long-term bone health because they wrongly believe they are eating enough calcium in their diets.

More than 1,300 women aged between 20-40 took part in a Dairy Council survey about the role of dairy products and calcium in their diet.

The majority of women questioned said they usually eat just two portions of milk, cheese or yoghurt a day, and said they believed they were getting enough calcium in their diets. But nutritionists recommend that adults should eat three portions (3-A-Day) of low-fat dairy products to meet calcium needs (700mg).

Moreover, when it came to the fat content of milk, many women had poor knowledge of the figures, with estimates for the fat content of skimmed milk as high as 41 per cent fat - it actually has 1.7 per cent.

However, while most of the women did not realise how much milk and dairy products they should be eating, they did know the importance of including these foods in the diet, reports the Dairy Council. And many stated that they recognised milk and dairy products were part of a healthy diet and help build strong bones and teeth.

The Dairy Council campaign, which runs until September, involves a new series of adverts aiming to convey information that milk is a low-fat drink and provides necessary calcium for strong bones and teeth. One of the adverts asks : 'Which drink is 98 per cent fat free?', followed by the message 'Semi-skimmed milk, less than 2 per cent fat'.

The Dairy Council's chief executive Jill Eisberg said: "The results of our survey show that, worryingly, many women don't drink enough milk to cover their calcium needs. This could be due to concerns about fat content, but we hope our new adverts will address this by showing that milk is a low-fat drink, rich in calcium."

Indeed, a study​ presented in the US last month found that girls who consume more calcium tend to weigh less and have lower body fat than those with low calcium consumption.

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