Can't Advertise Milk As Weight-Loss Aid, FTC Says

In response to FTC pressure, milk makers say they will stop advertising that drinking milk leads to weight loss.

The National Dairy Council’s new campaign will instead, “emphasize the role of dairy in weight maintenance.”

The FTC directive followed a petition filed by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, an activist group operating as a PETA storefront.

Emboldened by this apparent victory, PCRM goes on to cast doubt on the claim that milk builds strong bones, saying, “Evidence shows it does nothing of the kind.”

We’re pretty darn sure that how much calcium you consume up to a certain age is a key factor in your life-long bone density. More calcium, denser bones, less chance for osteoporosis. All available evidence shows that milk still has a bunch of calcium in it. — BEN POPKEN

U.S. Government Calls for End to Dairy Weight Loss Ads [Washington Post] (Thanks to SpiderJerusalem!)
(Photo: R’eyes)

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  1. quantum-shaman says:

    That milk must have more than the normal amount of pus in it, as pink as it is.

  2. Falconfire says:

    Big problems with this one.

    For one it has been shown that people who drink milk and eat cheese DO lose weight (with exercise of course) since the fats in those products are good fats that satisfy your body which in turn stops you from eating the junk fats that do put on weight. Likewise there is protein in milk and cheese, which is a major building block of muscle which ALSO helps in losing weight.

    Second they are a front for PETA. PETA has a well known agenda that flies in the face of all scientific and historical research, as well as common sense. I would have hoped the FTC would have gotten some independent information before confronting the NDC.

    Lastly the only “evidence” that shows calcium intake does not build strong bones is their own, which again flies in the face of hundreds of studies of before.

  3. Ben Popken says:

    @Falconfire: Agreed, I’m pretty sure that how much calcium you consume up to a certain age determines your life-long bone density.

  4. quantum-shaman says:

    @Ben Popken: Not true. Bone is living tissue and bone density can be increased at any age. It’s called weight-bearing exercise.

  5. Juliekins says:

    I don’t have a big problem with them putting limits on what they can say milk/dairy will do for you when it comes to weight loss. I totally agree that the fats and proteins in dairy are healthy ones (well, reduced fat dairy anyway. Saturated fat is still an issue), and the benefits of calcium intake are many, varied, and almost undeniable.

    The PETA wackos aren’t the only ones calling BS on the “dairy = weight loss,” though. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has a beef (no pun intended, heh) with it too.

    From Milking The Data (Acrobat Reader required):

    Only three small published studies have found greater weight loss
    in people who were told to cut calories and eat dairy foods, and all were
    done by one researcher with a patent on the claim.

    The government’s expert nutrition advisory panel has called the
    evidence on dairy and weight loss “inconclusive.”

    Two new studies have found that dairy foods don’t help people lose
    weight.

    I would like to see more independent research done. If the numbers bear out that dairy helps weight loss, then include it in the ads. If they don’t, then it shouldn’t. It’s pretty simple, really.

  6. Nygdan says:

    There’s a reason why babies drink milk, it’s good for you. People are strating to look at milk as something that is ‘bad for you’ because it has fats in it, which really just shows how out of whack everyone’s ideas about health are, when they start thinking milk is unhealthy.

  7. Ben Popken says:

    @quantum-shaman: Right, weight-bearing exercise helps too. Not an either/or proposition.

  8. quantum-shaman says:

    While I think PETA should be run out of town on a rail, I don’t buy into the assumption that milk is ipso facto “good for you”, especially when you consider it in the context of the Standard American Diet (which typically includes rather large amounts of milk — usually in the presence of highly refined and sugared carbohydrates). This has been merely a marketing ploy — and it has been a very effective one, too — foisted on the American public by the milk producers’ trade association. It’s COW milk. And are you still breast feeding?

  9. bluebuilder says:

    You can get all the “good” parts from milk from other sources.

    “cow’s milk is suited to the nutritional needs of calves who double their weight in 47 days and grow to 300 pounds within a year. In fact, human beings are the only species to drink the milk of another species, and the only species to drink milk beyond infancy.”

    With milk and other dairy products accounting for about half of all saturated fats eaten in this country, and the correlation between this and heart disease…I think I can do better somewhere else.

    I am an athlete, so my health and physical performance is critical for me. I am not any kind of vegetarian, but since I have cut almost all dairy out of my diet I feel much better, and have found it much easier to reach my body composition goals. And yes, my bone density is still very good.

  10. orielbean says:

    I love that quote about how humans are the only ones who drink the milk of other species. We also are the only species that knows how to cook a delicious duck l’orange as well. Yay for us!

    I think skim milk is fine for people, as are many cheeses. But milkshakes and ice cream and too much parm on your sub will easily get out of hand.

  11. snwbrder0721 says:

    @nygdan – There’s a another reason why babies drink milk (human breast milk, that is) – it’s given to them by their mothers.

    All in all I think there is a lot of evidence for either drinking or not drinking cow milk. While I agree that PETA is pretty extreme in most of their claims, let’s also consider that the dairy council (association, whomever) is no different. They just happen to be the lobbying group for a cause (drinking dairy milk) that has become so widely accepted it’s hard to question.

    One interesting point I saw in a PETA video or article somewhere was that milk is designed to grow a cow into a 2000 lbs. animal, how much of that same substance do you want in your diet as a 150 lbs animal?

    As for calcium, I don’t get this fixation on milk. There are tons of non-dairy sources of calcium, including the obvious soy / almond / oat / rice milks, various cereals, and some veggies (broccoli I believe), plus things like OJ now come with calcium, or you can just take vitamin. And if you argue that the non-dairy milks are merely fortified, remember that skim milk (which if you’re going to drink dairy milk is the best choice) has to be fortified as well since many of the nutrients leave with the cream.

    On weight loss, wasn’t there a recent study that said diets are ineffective (no matter what kind) and that exercise was the only way to effectively lose and keep off weight more than temporarily? Regardless of whether or not this is true, I distrust any diet (which is all of them) that say their “results” were acheived by diet AND exercise. Which do you think is more responsible for weight loss?

  12. On weight loss, wasn’t there a recent study that said diets are ineffective (no matter what kind) and that exercise was the only way to effectively lose and keep off weight more than temporarily?

    @snwbrder0721: Not to mention the study that found that dieting alone can cause fat to be stored internally (instead of just underneath the skin) which is even worse because a) the fat is around your internal organs and b) you can’t tell you’re carrying around too much fat.

    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,1968749,00…

    http://www.cnn.com/2003/HEALTH/diet.fitness/01/14/exercise

  13. Ben Popken says:

    My sure-fire weight-loss plan: consume fewer calories than I expend.

    Method: Exercise more, eat less.

  14. kerry says:

    @snwbrder0721: Actually, I saw a study that showed that no weight loss regimen, diet and/or exercise, worked effectively in the long term. That said, people are most likely to stay at their fittest (which may still be “overweight”) with exercise.
    As for the milk talk, I couldn’t live without yogurt. I don’t like to drink milk, but I eat lots of yogurt. And cheese! Milk is used for extremely good-for-you foods, even if you never drink the stuff straight.

  15. quantum-shaman says:

    @snwbrder0721: …wasn’t there a recent study that said diets are ineffective (no matter what kind) and that exercise was the only way to effectively lose and keep off weight more than temporarily?

    It’s not the ONLY way but it sure does help. Diets don’t work because our metabolism is programmed for a “starvation response”… your body thinks a famine is coming the second it detects a calorie restriction and it starts to store fat. Another HUGE factor in weight loss is the quality of the food being eaten. My mom wasn’t by any means, but she lost 25 pounds without even trying — and with no exercise — merely by getting all the crap carbohydrates out of her diet.

  16. grey_graphite says:

    You get more much more calcium from eating green leafy vegetables, like spinach and kale, than from dairy products. Cows, whose bodies need to produce calcium and other nutrients for their offspring, eat green vegetables exclusively. The calcuim in vegetables is in higher concentrations than milk and comes without the fat, lactose and hormones.

    Adult humans were naturally lactose-intolerant until a mutation appeared in Northern-European Caucasians that enabled them to digest dairy products beyond infancy.

  17. quagmire0 says:

    Milk tastes good. I drink it. Period. Is Peta arguing that we should let cows multiply on their own and we shouldn’t take advantage of a great natural resource they provide? I mean, I can *almost* understand their argument about gassing or torturing cows or whatever, but milking? Come on!

    Milk *is* good for you, and like everything else(from water to wine) must be consumed in moderation, or it becomes bad for you.

  18. quagmire0 says:

    As far as diets go, I’ll give you this diddy: eat more vegetables and drink more water. You *will* lose weight – provided you don’t chase the former with a bag of Oreos. :D

  19. mac-phisto says:

    so where are we going with this? is peta trying to ween americans off milk so all the poor dairy cows can frolic freely in the meadows?

    all this special-interest “science” is starting to hurt my head.

  20. suburbancowboy says:

    There is a wealth of evidence that suggests that drinking Cow’s milk actually causes bone loss.
    Yes, milk has a good amount of calcium in it, however the proteins in the milk prevent your body from properly absorbing the calcium, and actually causes the calcium to be leeched from your bones. The only countries in the world where Osteoporosis is prevalent are countries where the people drink cow’s milk. Goat’s milk is much closer to human milk, and is much healthier.
    Leading baby expert, Dr. Spock says children should never drink cow’s milk. Children who don;t drink milk almost never get ear infections.
    I am not a vegetarian, I love cheese, but from all of the reading I have done, and personal experience, I feel much healthier when I avoid drinking milk. I get sick less often (milk causes mucous buildup as well), and stay thinner.

  21. silverlining says:

    Not to belabor the obvious… but first, if we’re going to excoriate PETA, one should be equally critical of information presented by the badly-named “Center for Consumer Freedom,” which runs the “ActivistCash” website linked above as evidence that PCRM “operates as a PETA storefront.”

    The Center for Consumer Freedom is a front group for the alcohol, hospitality and tobacco industries, according to the Center for Media and Democracy (who put together SourceWatch, a compendium of PR front groups, and are the folks who brought us “Toxic Sludge is Good For You: Lies, Damn Lies, and the Public Relations Industry”–should be required reading for someone contributing to a blog called “Consumerist”). Phillip Morris helped to found CCM. It also criticizes the actions of other wacko lefty organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

    According to Wikipedia, CCF refuses to disclose its funders, but has only about a 1000 individuals across the US signed up as members. (Also see “Astroturfing.”)

    Now, as for the dairy issue, I’ve read it both ways. I’ve read that the high amount of protein in dairy interferes with absorption of calcium–so no matter how much calcium there is in dairy, the body can only absorb a fraction of it–and I’ve read that plant calcium is difficult to take up into human bones. And, as Ben acknowledges, regular weight-bearing exercise actually does a great deal to promote bone density, whether you consume dairy or not. But the FTC ruled on the issue about milk contributing to weightloss.

    Even if we don’t agree about whether a dairy-free diet can provide enough calcium (which is a point of reasonable debate, unlike what is inferred in the above article), we can certainly agree that folks can probably do better than eating higher-fat, cholesterol-, hormone-, and anti-biotic-laden dairy products to lose weight. And if we can build bone density without drinking lots of dairy–calcium is really the only health argument dairy has to stand on anymore–then why not?

    Though one can certainly say PCRM has an agenda, so does CCF. And though of course this shouldn’t be a deciding factor in gauging credibility, it’s worth noting that PCRM has a lot less money to gain from pushing its agenda than CCF has in pushing theirs–and CCF really doesn’t have much incentive to fight for sound public health policy.

    Consumerist has really dropped the ball here. From the blog that has made a name rightfully excoriating the PR-funded flogs like those by Wal-Mart and PSP, the last thing I expected was Consumerist using an industry-funded PR effort to make its case. How disappointing.

  22. lpranal says:

    Uh-oh, not the whole “got pus” thing again…

    quick google search- http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=497170

    “There is no pus in milk. All milk – including human breast milk -
    naturally contains somatic (white) cells, which are critical in
    fighting infection and ensuring good health.”
    http://www.ansci.umn.edu/dairy/QUALITY%20COUNTS/DI%20NEWS/

  23. junkmail says:

    You guys are giving me an ass rash. How about not worrying what everyone else does? If you want to drink milk, do it. If you don’t, don’t. Period. I can dig up a bajillion different references from a bajillion differenct sources, that prove beyond the shadow of a doubt a bajillion different points of view. Until we can all get on the same page, I’m gonna keep drinking milk because I like it. I couldn’t really care less what anyone else does or why they do it.

    [/end rant]

  24. jamier says:

    I’m pretty sure that how much calcium you consume up to a certain age determines your life-long bone density.

    @Ben Popken: That’s absolutely false. Even “special interest groups” like the American Heart Association agree that milk inhibits calcium absorption. The source of calcium is as important as the raw quantity, and plant-based sources are the best. Vegetable and grain sources of calcium also have higher magnesium content, which is necessary for calcium absorption, and do not have excessive protein, which is the largest cause of calcium loss. Milk isn’t even high in raw calcium compared to many plant sources, from leafy green and soy to nuts and beans.

    The fact that milk use in the USA is very high and osteoporosis is at an all-time high is not a coincidence. There’s a direct correlation between milk use and osteoporosis — countries with little dairy use like Japan and Korea have almost no osteoporosis, while the biggest milk consumers like the USA and England have the top rates of osteoporosis.

    “Milk builds strong bones” is flat-out ad copy for the dairy industry, nothing more. Scientific evidence suggests the opposite is true.

    Also, milk is not a weight-loss aid. Even if dairy fat is not quite as harmful as other fats (which has yet to be strongly supported, according to the FDA), there are other factors in maintaining a low-calorie diet, especially hunger. Drinking calories from milk, soda, or any other source does nothing to curb hunger, so these calories are “bonus” calories on top of whatever is necessary to feel full. There have been many studies and there is a general scientific consensus on this. There was a scientific outrage at the latest FDA “food pyramid” because it still included dairy despite contributing to obesity, diabetes, and osteoporosis, and providing no nutrition that can’t easily be received elsewhere. This was widely seen as simply catering to the very influential dairy lobby, since the FDA is an organization set up to promote American agriculture.

    There’s no reason to consume milk as part of a healthy diet. If you enjoy milk, that’s fine, but treat it as you would Pepsi or a piece of cake.

  25. brigita says:

    Rates of osteoporotic hip fractures are lower in countries that consume less dairy (getting their calcium in the form of veggies and small fish), so saying that you have to consume lots of dairy to build strong bones is a bunch of baloney. A major part of the bone density picture is weight bearing exercise–consuming adequate calcium is only part of the equation.

  26. straddy says:

    Wouldn’t it be safe to say that given most peoples inclination to think of milk as healthy, that it could be equally as possible for it NOT to be healthy?
    All this buzz about milk and dairy and such. Science is about finding out new things, disproving theories, etc.
    5 years from now it will be widespread media-wise that milk isn’t that great for you, and it can actually cause ostereoposis. This isn’t any different than you thinking thats it great for you now.
    Isn’t this sort of reminescent of the tobacco thing in the 70s?

    How can anyone really say for sure what they know about any of these things, when your information is liable to change quicker than you can blink.

    Lay your baby on its side. No, on its stomach…wait, try the back…..

  27. Christovir says:

    I think many people are forgetting that most of the world’s adults are lactose intolerant, (about 2/3 of all people, I believe) particularly people in Asia and Africa. Asia and Africa have the lowest rates of osteoporosis in the world. In the West, where dairy consumption is the highest in the world, osteoporosis is at its highest rates. Clearly the “milk = stronger bones” equation is a simplification. How come the 2/3 of the world’s people that do not drink milk have stronger bones than the one’s that do?

    The “milk = good health” concept is one that has been promoted by millions of advertising dollars – and not much science.

  28. droppedD says:

    @silverlining: the main difficulties with plant calcium are ones that come from vegetables like spinach. Spinach has high concentrations of oxalic acid, which slows the absorption of calcium — as a result, even though a serving of spinach has something like (i’m working from memory here, so excuse the numbers) 10% of your RDA of calcium, in reality only about 2% of the RDA is usable.
    Other greens like broccoli and kale don’t have the same problems, however.
    Anyways, despite Ben’s professed expertise in the areas of medicine and nutrition, I’m more inclined to believe the folks at the Harvard School of Public Health, who in my experience are fairly smart people –

    “Currently, there’s no good evidence that consuming more than one serving of milk per day in addition to a reasonable diet (which typically provides about 300 milligrams of calcium per day from nondairy sources) will reduce fracture risk. Because of unresolved concerns about the risk of ovarian and prostate cancer, it may be prudent to avoid higher intakes of dairy products.”

    So whether you buy the vegan FUD about milk or not, the medical consensus from people who know the most about the issue and who aren’t paid by lobbyists on either side seems to be a wait-and-see attitude of “moderation.” Wow — what a novel concept!

    I don’t see why the milk lobby was allowed to pretend milk would make you lose weight, in any case. 1% milk doesn’t do that any more than lean bacon does, and we’d all laugh if we saw that advertised as a weight-loss method. the studies I saw showed comparable weight loss with dairy as with all other diets when you control for calories. Is drinking a glass of skim milk better than drinking a bottle of Coke? Sure; fewer calories. But it still will make you fatter than drinking water, and the dairy lobby can’t pretend otherwise anymore. They were making it out almost to be a negative-calorie fat burner; that’s just ridiculous.

  29. raindog says:

    We all have agendas here, even Consumerist. I just happen to like Consumerist’s agenda and dislike PETA’s.

    By the way, PETA still kills pets, no matter who reports it. I think the same rule probably applies regarding their funding of shadow lobbyists, unless you’re alleging PCRM isn’t a front for PETA. Sure the CCF or CCM or whatever may have ulterior motives in reporting the bad news, but it’s still bad news. Tax filings don’t lie.

    Finally, milk wasn’t “designed” for any purpose, unless maybe you go to school in Kansas. Glad to be able to clear that up.

  30. quantum-shaman says:

    @lpranal: Saying there is no pus in milk is EXACTLY like saying there is no melamine in fish.

    That point being made, I wholeheartedly agree that you should drink the stuff until it comes out your nose if you like it that much. Still, the debate is fun! I like to debate about as much as I like to *not* drink pus tained, mucous producing milk. Haha.

  31. kimsama says:

    A few comments:

    For those who mentioned it, a few nutritionists assert drinking milk leeches calcium from your body through a process called “acification”. This is not actually supported by any scientific evidence. As far as science is concerned, the calcium in milk is easily absorbed. One of the reasons milk is fortified with vitamin D is to help increase the absorption of calcium (I’m guessing for those of us who don’t get the recommended 15 minutes of sun a day while trapped at our desk jobs).

    Non-Europeans can tolerate lactose. Lactose tolerance can generally be built up simply by consuming dairy products, especially yogurt. This builds up lactase in your intestines, which is what you need to digest lactose. I know from experience that Asians, who generally have the lowest level of lactose tolerance, can begin to tolerate lactose on the order of a few glasses of milk a day (my husband went from never eating it to eating dairy all the time — hey, I make the meals). It is true, however, that Nothern European-descendant people have the highest tolerance to begin with, due to “lactase persistence,” the genetic mutation mentioned in an above post.

    Also, I’m not sure if anyone mentioned this, but a lack of weight-bearing exercise, even if calcium is ingested, will weaken bones. That’s why astronauts can have problems with osteoporosis, even though they get enough calcium while in space. So make sure to do some weight-bearing exercise throughout your life, especially if osteoporosis runs in your family. And same goes for the reverse: weight-bearing exercise won’t build bone density without the ingestion of calcium.

    Finally, as for the assertion that osteoporosis tracks highest in countries in which the populace drinks a lot of cow’s milk, that is patently untrue. One of the risk factors for osteoporosis is being Asian, and they don’t traditionally drink much milk at all (or consume dairy). Also, some African cultures drink lots of cow’s milk as part of their traditional diet, and aren’t prone to osteoporosis. So I’m afraid that’s a myth.

    The jury is still out on exactly how great or not milk is for people. I tend to agree with the person above who said everything in moderation (well, except that I drink like 4 glasses a day and have always been healthy and haven’t ever had a problem with weight, so maybe I don’t follow the moderation advice, even though I think it’s true).

    And also, let me add: what else would you dip your chocolate chip cookies in? ^_^

  32. DeeHaney says:

    I don’t agree with most of PETA’s tactics, but I’ve read most of Neal Barnard books, happily live by his diet suggestions, and am I PCRM supporter. My understanding is that PCRM is a more research based organization performing clinical studies and seeking alternatives to animal testing.

  33. @mac-phisto: “is peta trying to ween americans off milk so all the poor dairy cows can frolic freely in the meadows?”

    I have always wondered this about PETA: Given that the SOLE purposes of domesticated cows are to create milk, meat, and leather, what’s going to happen to the species when we’re done eating and wearing them? Farmers aren’t going to care for them out of the kindness of their hearts. Are we just supposed to kill them all and have done with it?

  34. coss3n says:

    @Eyebrows McGee:

    I’ve always wondered about this point. As is the case with chickens, cattle, pigs, etc., it seems the best way to ensure the survival of a species in the modern world is to get humans to eat them. I’ve yet to hear a definitive answer from someone in PETA as to which is worse: domestication or extinction.

  35. kimsama says:

    @brigita: @jamier: Where are you getting your statistics? Sounds like old wives’ tales to me. In the international development community, the rising rates of osteoporosis in Asia are a big issue:

    http://annals.edu.sg/pdfJan02/LauEMC.pdf

    Studies have found that rates of osteoporosis in Asia and many developing countries are increasing. This isn’t due to more milk drinking. In fact, one of the problems sited is lack of calcium intake (as well as smoking and drinking, and the increased incidence of sedentary lifestyles).

    A lot of the reason that osteoporosis was previously less of a problem in Asia was because in many countries, such as China and SE Asia, people died before osteoporosis became a problem (or were simply never diagnosed). Also, Asian women tend to suffer fewer hip breaks (which many people associate with osteoporosis), while suffering from other osteoporosis-related problems that are not so high-profile or easily detectable (such as vertebral fracture).

    It’s estimated 50% of osteoporotic hip fractures will occur in Asia by the year 2050. It’s a growing problem.

    If you do have evidence that osteoporosis isn’t a problem in Asia, please by all means share it with the International Osteoporosis Foundation. I’m sure they’d be happy to look at the detailed statistical evidence supporting your claims.

  36. quantum-shaman says:

    @kimsama: It’s estimated 50% of osteoporotic hip fractures will occur in Asia by the year 2050. It’s a growing problem.

    Sounds reasonable. I’ll bet its because they are having an increased consumption of acidic sodas to go along with their hip fractures. It’s been pretty well demonstrated how that will leach the calcium right out of your bones.

  37. quieterhue says:

    Just so you all know, calcium, as a mineral, is found in the ground, and is not produced by cows bodies. Historically, the reason cows milk was considered a good source of calcium was that cows ate grass and absorbed the mineral from the greenery. Nowadays, however, cows mostly eat corn, which means the milk is fortified with calcium, just like some types of orange juice are fortified. You can get just as much calcium from eating green leafy veggies as you can from cows milk, so drinking it is not a necessity.

  38. heypal says:

    The burning question here, and I can hardly believe I’m first to pose it, is:

    Is that a frog in the milk?

    It looks like a frog. Why did the frog jump into the milk? Was it dropped into the milk?

    This is in all likelihood the only issue which can be resolved to anyone’s satisfaction in this post. All other issues herein are, like politics and religion, too subjective and open to interpretation.

    Long Live Cows! and milk. and steak. and leather. and cheese. damn, cheese is one of the best things in the world. fuck peta.

  39. infinitysnake says:

    @Nygdan: babies drink their mother’s milk, just like baby cows dop. Milk IS good for you- as long as it’s from your own species. As far as bone density goes, the very best thing for it is exercise- walking, running, etc.

    And frankly, I think all the weight loss claims for cheese and milk are obvious bunk…all the really skinny folks I know are vegans, and thgere’s a reason for that. (And conversely, does anyone know a fat person who doesn’t get enough milk or cheese?

  40. s00p3rm4n says:

    @quantum-shaman: and @infinitysnake: Exactly. Much as I loves my milk and am an unabashed addict (b/c of coffee), I am under no pretensions that it isn’t foisted upon me and all other Americans by the dairy association.

  41. synergy says:

    @kimsama: Vitamin D is not an optional thing that “helps” but isn’t necessary. (This is how I read your meaning in your comment. If not, I apologize.)

    From NIH (National Institute of Health): “The major biologic function of vitamin D is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus [3-4]. By promoting calcium absorption, vitamin D helps to form and maintain strong bones. Vitamin D also works in concert with a number of other vitamins, minerals, and hormones to promote bone mineralization. Without vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle, or misshapen. Vitamin D sufficiency prevents rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults, two forms of skeletal diseases that weaken bones [5-6].”

    http://dietary-supplements.info.nih.gov/factsheets/vitamin

  42. synergy says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: How about just using up the ones grown now and not breeding more for markets?

    Although I wonder how cows would fare now that they’ve been domesticated down to very dumb animals. I don’t know if they’d be able to fend for themselves.

  43. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @infinitysnake: Yeah, the reason being that most vegans don’t know how to get proper nutrition without animal products, so they’re suffering from serious deficiencies. Most of the vegans I’ve known have had digestive problems, constant low-level fatigue, and brittle hair/nails as well as nice thin bodies. There are some who can handle veganism, but not many.

    Not that it isn’t possible to be fat and vegan. I’ve known one or two of them, too — you’d be surprised how much junk food is technically vegan. When your product doesn’t contain anything occurring in nature, it’s naturally animal-free.

  44. kimsama says:

    @synergy: Nope, didn’t mean it to sound that way, which is why I said “one of the reasons” it’s added to milk. It is added to milk because of its assistance in aiding absorption of calcium, which is true, but in no way is that the only way to get vitamin D — at its most natural, it is synthesized by the body when exposed to sunlight.

    In fact, vitamin D absorption has a great impact on osteoporosis.

    Not sure how you got that I dissed vitamin D from my post, but rest assured I think it’s peachy keen ^_^

  45. quantum-shaman says:

    @heypal: I thought it was pus. Or a penis. I see them everywhere, ya know. It’s that subliminal advertising thing.

  46. kimsama says:

    Ooh…I forgot about rickets. Rickets, too — yay vitamin D!

  47. silverlining says:

    @CumaeanSibyl: “Yeah, the reason being that most vegans don’t know how to get proper nutrition without animal products, so they’re suffering from serious deficiencies.”

    What the…? MOST people don’t know how to get proper nutrition, period. Vegan, omni, whatever. Good lord. Most people don’t eat enough fruits, vegetables and unprocessed grains in their diet–they don’t get enough fiber. Sure, there are vegans that don’t eat right, but there are also a TON of omnivores that don’t eat right either. Yeesh.

  48. mac-phisto says:

    @silverlining: i’m gonna have to side by CumaeanSibyl here. having known quite a few vegans in my day (one who used to religiously circulate peta petitions – surprisingly, i never strangled her), & having to prepare foods for them, it takes a lot of energy preparing vegan meals that ensure that you do not develop a deficiency. most of my friends resort to supplementing their diets with protein tubes (like weightlifters use) & some eventually abandon their diets altogether. two friends of mine veganed themselves into anemia. another came close, but now periodically supplements her diet with meat.

    you can be healthy & vegan, but if you don’t eat smart, you can really hurt yourself.

  49. @heypal: I thought it was an oyster. No idea why it’s being dropped in strawberry milk though.

  50. @synergy: “Although I wonder how cows would fare now that they’ve been domesticated down to very dumb animals. I don’t know if they’d be able to fend for themselves.”

    Domestic animals are not meant to be “released” into the wild. Not only is it cruel to the domesticated animals, but it frequently has devastating effects on the local environment. I can imagine few things less environmentally friendly or more animal-cruel than releasing domesticated animals into the wild, particularly when doing so simply to satisfy one’s own political agenda.

    (And aurochs — the “wild” version of the cow — were none too bright anyway. Domestication doesn’t make an animal “dumb” — it makes it intelligent in a different way. Neither dogs nor wolves are “dumb” on the scale of animal intellect, but they have very different sorts of intelligence, because dogs’ is geared towards living cooperatively with humans.)

  51. strathmeyer says:

    By weight loss, do they mean fat loss? Or do they really think we all want to be stick thin models?

  52. Rusted says:

    I don’t dare touch the stuff. Yuck.

  53. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @silverlining: Oh, trust me, I know omnivores have the same problem — I knew a guy in college who gave himself scurvy one winter because he wouldn’t eat anything but pizza rolls, Easy Mac, and Hamburger Helper — but he was one guy out of all the college guys with horrible eating habits that I knew (the rest mostly suffered from gas). With veganism it’s very easy to deprive yourself of necessary proteins and fats.

    To be fair, I think the modern omnivore is less likely to experience malnutrition because it’s easy to find premade vitamin-enriched products that will take all the effort out of it, whereas vegans often have to make their own way.

  54. straddy says:

    Actually, I’m vegan.
    Its a lot easier nowadays to get everything you need, nutrient-wise.
    I’m perfectly healthy. I’m not deficient in anything, I feel fine. I drink fortified soymilk, eat plenty of fruits, vegs, good fats, and grains.
    Its true that some vegans don’t get what they need; some bodies can’t handle it. I have a friend who was vegan for a few years, and she couldn’t get enough B12. So now she eats cheese, chicken, and tuna. And turkey.
    And it really doesn’t take that long to prepare a meal when you’re vegan to ensure nutrients. Rice, beans, and a vegetable gives you everything you need for dinner, etc.

    And, its true that most omnivores I know are very unhealthy due to their excessive consumption of fat, from…meat, cheese, and other non-vegan food.

    Oreos are vegan. Delish. I dip them in soymilk and the world spins fine.

  55. asherchang says:

    Ha! I knew it.

    Although calcium is neccecary in weight maintenence, I always had a problem with those milk ads saying that imply that milk itself helps you lose weight. And although you need to consume enough calcium to maintain strong bones, exercise is what you need for bone density.

    None the less, milk still has plenty of calcium (although it’s definately not the only food that does).

    And PETA’s anti-milk campaign veers into a few strange scary claims that are definately false.

  56. Jory says:

    @Falconfire: No fat that comes from animal products are “good fats.” Good fats include olive oil, avocado oil, tree nuts, etc. Dairy is NOT a good fat.

    Cow milk is for baby calfs, which gain hundreds of pounds in a matter of months. In the US, we are inexplicably attached to drinking the nursing milk of another species, which is just weird to me.

  57. raindog says:

    I’ve been eating way more healthy since my partner was in the hospital for nine weeks with congestive heart failure. Animal fats are practically absent. But now I fart like a heifer. After three months, it’s still going on…. beano can only do so much.

    Anyway, stop with the “meant for” stuff unless you’re seriously one of those “intelligent design” people, in which case I don’t know what you’re doing on a consumer affairs site anyway, since you’re probably not allowed to be on the naughty interweb.