POSTED ON SEPTEMBER 1, 2010 BY DEANA FERRERI, PH.D.
The idea that cow’s milk is an essential component of the diet for young children is one of the biggest nutritional myths. Decades of marketing by the dairy industry has convinced most parents in the U.S. that milk and cheese are indispensible for childhood health, but this is simply not true. Cow’s milk was designed by nature to be the perfect food for baby cows – not for human children.
There is a strong correlation between early exposure to cow’s milk and type 1 diabetes in children.2-8
Early (12 months of age) dairy consumption is also associated with excess body fat in children.9
Milk consumption in teenagers is associated with acne.10-12
Childhood diets rich in dairy products are associated with cancer in adulthood.13
Additional conditions associated with cow’s milk consumption include allergies, Crohn’s disease, ear infections, heart attack, multiple sclerosis, and prostate cancer.14
These are serious concerns, especially when you consider the huge amount of dairy products that some children consume, regardless of whether a child is a ‘responder’ with respect to the digestive complaints associated with cow’s milk. Dairy foods may supply needed calcium in those not eating any vegetables, but when you use less dairy and more high-calcium plant foods, you get lots of anti-cancer nutrients in the bargain. The modest micronutrient content in dairy can’t compare to vegetables and is vastly outweighed by its calorie content and associated health risks. Less animal source products and more vegetables is the secret to an anti-cancer lifestyle, and not merely to resolve constipation.
* A mother posted a reply to this article:
Kathie - September 2, 2010 8:47 AM
I agree that cow's milk is meant for baby cows and human babies NEED milk from their human mothers. I nursed all of my children for several years (yes years!) and let them wean themselves. They were not ever sick the entire time they were nursing. I wish I knew then what I know now and would not have given them a cow's milk after weaning. One daughter simply refused to drink it. I let her drink juices instead and didn't push the milk and she continued to be very healthy (she's 29 now). The ones who drank the milk got occasional ear infections and allergies. If I could do it all over again I would probably give my children nut milks or rice milk after weaning, which are now in most grocery stores.
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