The association put forward the comments in a letter sent to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in response to proposed voluntary marketing guidelines that aim to establish limits on foods and beverages marketed to children ages from two to 17, according to the IDFA.
The IDFA claims the proposed guidelines would prevent many dairy products from being marketed to children.
“The comments called for encouraging, not limiting, the marketing of low-fat and fat-free dairy products, because the majority of kids and teens are not getting the amounts recommended by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA),” said the association.
“Milk products are nutrient-rich, providing nine essential nutrients, including three of the four nutrients identified as “nutrients of concern” in the 2010 DGAs– calcium, vitamin D and potassium,” it added.
However, children are falling short of recommended intakes of milk products, said the association, as milk consumption is replaced by soft drinks, fruit drinks or other beverages as they get older.
The IDFA said this is a “troubling trend” that has been identified as one potential reason for chronic calcium shortages and the rising rates of obesity among America’s youth.
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) recommended that children ages two and three consume two servings of milk and milk products per day, children between the ages of four and eight consume 2.5 servings and children nine and older consume three servings of milk and milk products each day.
With the new increased recommendation to two and one-half servings for children between the ages of four and eight years of age, nearly 75 per cent of children in this age group would fall short, claims the IDFA.
The organisation said self-regulation of marketing foods and beverages to children is working and additional government guidance regarding marketing to children is not necessary.
“If guidance is finalised, the criteria must be flexible to allow a wide variety of healthy and nutritious dairy products,” said the association.
Composed of three constituent organisations: the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI) and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA), the IDFA represents US dairy manufacturing and marketing industries and their suppliers.