Milk, It Does a Body Good, or Does It?

Several different reports are taking aim at giving children, especially babies under the age of one year, milk from cows. In a June 28th 1999 CNN report was a recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics to wait at least one year before giving a baby milk from cows. Several reasons were cited as to the benefits of not using milk from cows. First cited was a reduction in allergies for children who do not drink milk from cows. The second reason was that milk from cows causes an increased chance of iron deficiency in children. Interesting to note was the fact that many formulas also contain broken down cows milk products. Still another reason was that the milk from cows can cause slight intestinal bleeding which can not be seen but can make a child anemic.

Other opponents of cow milk consumption go even farther than a one-year prohibition. Dr. Walter C. Willett, professor and chairman of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, has a different opinion about consumption of milk by adults. "There is a major campaign being planned to try to get adults to drink three glasses of milk every day. If we do that we increase saturated fat consumption in adults. This inevitably will increase heart attack rates." Dr. Willett was involved in a study at Harvard that showed no evidence that milk and other calcium rich foods significantly reduce osteoporosis-related bone fractures. His comments appeared in the June 8th 1999 issue of the Boston Globe.