IDFA and the National Milk Producers Federation responded last week to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that suggested several ways for communities to tackle the growing problem of obesity. The report included a call for communities to discourage consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, including flavored and sweetened milk. IDFA and NMPF defended the role of flavored milk in children's diets and opposed a specific recommendation to ban flavored sweetened milk in child care facilities.
"We are concerned that the report does not consider the science that supports the positive role of milk, including flavored milk, in child health and nutrition," the letter to CDC Director Thomas Frieden states, "The current emphasis on banning flavored milk may have the unintended consequence of reducing children's milk consumption and subsequent nutrient intake."
IDFA and NMPF offered several science-based statements from health and government authorities, including the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the Institute of Medicine and the Academy of Pediatrics, that recognize the nutritional value of flavored milk. The trade groups also asked to meet with the director to discuss the dairy industry's commitment to improving child nutrition and physical fitness, as well as the overall science concerning the role of milk in child health and nutrition.
CDC issued its report on July 24 in conjunction with a separate study that estimated the medical costs associated with obesity in the United States at $147 billion a year. CDC's 24 recommendations are designed to encourage communities to incorporate programs and policies that would promote healthy eating and physical activity.
As a next step, CDC intends to disseminate the strategies along with suggested measurements for use by local governments and communities throughout the country.
For more information, contact Cary Frye, IDFA vice president of regulatory and scientific affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-202-3543.