Practically every day I hear the “dairy is awesome” commercials on the radio, and it’s a continual fight to keep my lunch down.
One would think, listening to the commercials, that dairy is a proven method to make muscles stronger, bones stronger and make a child grow taller. Given the authoritative tone of the commercial, few would question the benefits of dairy. When I hear the promotion of dairy as building strong muscles, I personally know that there is zero evidence to support this claim. The promotion of dairy to make a child grow taller is, likewise, supported by zero evidence.
If I were to go on the radio and make absurd claims with no evidence to back up medical claims (“chiropractic adjusting will make your child grow taller”), my board would come down on me and there would be a price to be paid. But somehow, the lies in these commercials have no backlash and have been playing for years.
The only saving grace in the commercial is that having your teenager drink more milk is going to make sure they grow up with strong bones and teeth (somehow, because teeth are made out of bone, it is ok to make the jump in association between building strong bones and strong teeth). After all, that is all we have heard from health books, public health recommendations and doctors. For those of you who have read my eBook The Misconception of Dairy as a Health Food will know that the evidence that dairy is good for our health is spotty at best, a lie at the worst.
This particular article once again shines the spotlight on the lies we have been sold by the dairy industry with the help our the public health machine and uneducated physicians. In it, researchers looked at the relationship between dairy consumption between the ages of 13 and 18 and risk of a low impact hip fracture later in life on over 195,000 men and women. Here’s what they found:
- Every single glass of milk per day increase the risk of a hip fracture by 9%.
- Once these scores were adjusted for height, the risk dropped somewhat to 6% per glass.
- Teenage milk consumption was not related to hip fractures in women.
If you follow the commercials’ recommendations, your 3 servings of dairy per day will up your risk of a fracture by a respectable 18%. While this risk may not be great, the fact that there is ANY risk at all when we have been sold a bill of goods that dairy protects our bones illustrates how misguided some of our public health measures are. When you add the fact that dairy has calories to the childhood obesity situation, the idea that we should be promoting more dairy and cheese sound like an even worse idea.