Again the concern for those who avoid milk products is that they would not meet

Again the concern for those who avoid milk products

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Again, the concern for those who avoid milk products is 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, who are seen as particularly in need of not only the calcium in This content downloaded from on Mon, 22 Oct 2018 21:21:17 UTC All use subject to
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512 American Anthropologist * Vol. 106, No. 3 * September 2004 dairy products but also the protein, Vitamin D (which is not an intrinsic part of milk; milk is fortified with Vitamins A and D), and, in the case of fresh milk, water for hydra- tion. Other fortified foods, such as orange juice, or dark green 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 with lactase impersistence obtain sufficient calcium, their state- ment also outlines the potential problems associated with milk consumption among such children. The nutrients in milk 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, and other prescription and over-the-counter drugs (AAP 1985). Lactose is used as a filler, an anticaking agent, and a flavor to make pills more palatable. While only a very few in- dividuals with severe intolerance are likely to be sensitive to these small amounts, including lactose among the inac- tive ingredients in medicines (estimated at up to 20 percent of prescription drugs and six percent of over-the-counter medicines; ) indicates a lack of appreciation for population diversity in physiological responses to lactose. Antimilk Groups Despite overt sponsorship of milk consumption by state and federal governments, there is vigorous-if not well- coordinated-antimilk sentiment, suggesting that milk's merits are not entirely uncontested within the United States. Two primers for this "movement" with intention- ally sensationalist titles are Milk: The Deadly Poison by Robert Cohen (1997), the self-proclaimed "notmilkman" who also maintains a website , and Don't Drink Your Milk! The Frightening New Medical Facts about the World's Most Overrated Nutrient by Frank Oski (1977). The Physi- cian's Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are two organizations actively promoting the message that milk is neither an ideal nor necessary food.6 Both groups cite stud- ies implicating milk consumption as a contributing factor to numerous health problems (from prostate and breast cancer to osteoporosis; see or ).
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