Again, the concern for those who avoid milk productsis that they would not meet their calcium needs. Most medi-cal organizations recommend dairy products such as yogurt,cheese, or lactose-reduced milk, especially for children, whoare seen as particularly in need of not only the calcium inThis content downloaded from 126.96.36.199 on Mon, 22 Oct 2018 21:21:17 UTCAll use subject to
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512 American Anthropologist * Vol. 106, No. 3 * September 2004dairy products but also the protein, Vitamin D (which isnot an intrinsic part of milk; milk is fortified with VitaminsA and D), and, in the case of fresh milk, water for hydra-tion. Other fortified foods, such as orange juice, or darkgreen leafy vegetables, legumes, and fish are recommended,and calcium supplementation is advised for those who"significantly limit their dietary intake of milk products"(7E 1.pdf).While the AAP expresses concern that children withlactase impersistence obtain sufficient calcium, their state-ment also outlines the potential problems associated withmilk consumption among such children. The nutrients inmilk may not be fully absorbed; if diarrhea results, nutri-ents are lost and there is a risk of dehydration. Furthermore,the AAP and others express concern about the use of lac-tose in medicines such as birth control pills, antacids, andother prescription and over-the-counter drugs (AAP 1985).Lactose is used as a filler, an anticaking agent, and a flavorto make pills more palatable. While only a very few in-dividuals with severe intolerance are likely to be sensitiveto these small amounts, including lactose among the inac-tive ingredients in medicines (estimated at up to 20 percentof prescription drugs and six percent of over-the-countermedicines; )indicates a lack of appreciation for population diversity inphysiological responses to lactose.Antimilk GroupsDespite overt sponsorship of milk consumption by stateand federal governments, there is vigorous-if not well-coordinated-antimilk sentiment, suggesting that milk'smerits are not entirely uncontested within the UnitedStates. Two primers for this "movement" with intention-ally sensationalist titles are Milk: The Deadly Poison by RobertCohen (1997), the self-proclaimed "notmilkman" who alsomaintains a website , and Don't DrinkYour Milk! The Frightening New Medical Facts about the World'sMost Overrated Nutrient by Frank Oski (1977). The Physi-cian's Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) andPeople for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are twoorganizations actively promoting the message that milk isneither an ideal nor necessary food.6 Both groups cite stud-ies implicating milk consumption as a contributing factor tonumerous health problems (from prostate and breast cancerto osteoporosis; see or ).
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