APPG calls for dairy to be put back on the menu
9 March 2016 • Author(s): Victoria White
A new report published by the Dairy All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) looks at how dairy products contribute to a healthy lifestyle at all ages and calls for greater efforts to promote dairy as part of a balanced diet.
The report, entitled ‘Putting Dairy Back on the Daily Menu’, follows a thorough enquiry on the role of dairy in the public health debate. The evidence presented to the APPG showed that policies which target individual nutrients do not always provide a balanced view of certain food and often fail to take into account the effect of whole foods and dietary patterns on health outcomes.
Based on evidence received during the enquiry, the Dairy APPG wrote to the Department of Health to ask for the implementation of a 3-a-day programme for milk and dairy in nutritional guidelines in the UK.
Commenting on report, Heather Wheeler MP, Chair of the Dairy APPG, said: “From school milk schemes for children to nutrition and healthy ageing campaigns, the APPG gained a better understanding of the role played by dairy. I was quite surprised to see that so many misconceptions and myths about dairy still resist event the strongest science. The purpose of this report is to identify how Parliamentarians and Government can work together with industry to support the crucial role of dairy in the public health debate.
“The dairy industry has long played an important role in helping to feed the people of the UK. I believe that we in Parliament can, and must, support our great British dairy industry as much as possible and through the Dairy APPG we will make sure we put dairy back on the daily menu.”
Dairy UK strongly supports APPG’s call
Dr Judith Bryans, Chief Executive of Dairy UK, made clear her support for the APPG and their call for a 3-a-day programme. She said: “The Dairy APPG report is a welcome contribution to the debate on the links between dairy, health and nutrition. Milk and dairy products are packed full of the nutrients we need at all stages of life. Yet, because of conflicting media stories, negative messages and a flurry of questionable claims about dairy alternatives, it seems that the nutritional benefits of dairy products and their role in a balanced diet are no longer obvious to consumers.
“The science that underpins the nutritional benefits of dairy is formidable and we need to keep pressing home that dairy foods have a crucial role to play in a healthy diet. As such, we strongly support the APPG’s calls for the implementation of 3-a-day programme into nutritional guidelines in the UK to promote consumption and educate consumers of the benefits of dairy.
“Last but not least, we fully support the APPG’s recommendations for a cautious approach to reformulation programmes as policies which target individual nutrients do not always provide a balanced view of certain foods and can lead to misunderstanding the total value of whole foods. We have been calling for a holistic approach to nutrition policies to ensure that nutrition policies take into account the effect of whole foods and dietary patterns on health outcomes. Measures such as nutrient profiles fail dramatically to consider the nutrient-richness of natural foods such as milk or cheese and have a serious impact on the industry’s competitiveness.
“We are very pleased to see so much support from all sides of the political spectrum for a greater focus on the benefits of milk and dairy products. The dairy industry is a pillar of the UK economy and we need to work more effectively with Parliament and Government to spread the word on the benefits of dairy foods and support the future of the industry.”
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