UK milk campaign targets health workers

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Milk, Mdc

Britain's Milk Development Council said it plans to start a new
health campaign for milk targeted at health professionals and the
media as well as consumers.

The Council (MDC), funded by an industry levy, said anecdotal evidence suggested health professionals often advised patients to avoid dairy in the short-term. Both the MDC and the Dairy Council suspect health professionals of rushing to this remedy too quickly.

"We've done a lot of work into developing understanding of the role and priority of these influential groups of people - if they don't have the right information to start with then consumers are not going to be given the full picture,"​ said Liz Broadbent, MDC marketing director.

She added that the information campaign would also target the media in recognition of its influence on consumer purchases.

The move is part of work by Britain's dairy industry to challenge what it sees as misconceptions about dairy, primarily brought about by a lack of knowledge.

An MDC study last year found that 93 per cent of consumers surveyed did not know the fat content of milk.

The body has begun working with the UK's six major dairy companies to address this lack of knowledge, and believes now is the right time for dairy to stake its claim on health trends amid concern over salty snacks and sugar-laden fizzy drinks.

The debate on dairy products' association with weight loss intensified in 2005, with some studies published in the US suggesting a high dairy-intake (three-four servings daily) does not hamper, and may even help, consumers lose weight if eaten as part of a balanced diet.

A large study in Spain last month also indicated skimmed milk may decrease a consumer's risk of hypertension, which can lead to heart disease. The study came only weeks after research in the US linked fizzy cola with increased hypertension risk.

The UK's MDC raises around £7m per year from a statutory levy on producers, and spends around half of this money on market development strategies designed to encourage dairy consumption.

Milk consumption rose in Britain last year for the first time in 30 years.

Related topics: Markets, Fresh Milk, Dairy Health Check

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