TV Dietician Says "Drink More Dairy!"

TV Dietician Says "Drink More Dairy!"

Yet another news story has appeared on Australian TV, telling us we need to drink more milk and that plant milks are dangerous!

Apparently Australians are buying more and more plant based milks, which has prompted a call from 'experts' to drink more cow's milk. I wonder which experts are saying this? Could it be experts from the industry funded lobby group known as the Dieticians Association of Australia?

Dietician Tania Ferraretto, a spokesperson for the DAA appeared on Today Tonight to espouse both the dangers of plant based milks and the benefits of cow's milk.

The story starts off with a couple of attempts to paint plant based milk drinkers as annoying and stupid "latte loving hipsters". Just another trick to get us to think negatively about plant based milks.

The first (and in my opinion most ridiculous) claim is that labelling plant based milks using the word 'milk' is very misleading! Are they trying to insult their own customers by implying that milk drinkers can't figure out that soy milk comes from soy rather than from cows?! I seriously doubt that anyone has ever bought almond milk thinking it came from a cow.

Next we get to the crux of the story, you guessed it... osteoporosis! This entire story appears to be a mere scare campaign from the dairy industry in conjunction with the DAA. Every time there's a story about milk (or an advertisement for that matter) they just constantly drum into us that we need to get a ton of calcium every day and that the best place to get it is cow's milk. If you don't drink heaps of milk then your bones will crumble!

Let's look at a couple of studies that Tania Ferreretto obviously hasn't seen, I'm sure if she had then she'd change her tune, wouldn't she?

First of all there's this study of buddhist nuns. They compared a group of nuns who had been vegan for 33 years on average with a group who ate a normal diet. The vegan group consumed significantly less calcium, yet despite this the study concluded that "although vegans have much lower intakes of dietary calcium and protein than omnivores, veganism does not have adverse effect on bone mineral density and does not alter body composition."

Then there's this one which pooled the data from many different studies, including some with industry bias. They concluded that "our analyses indicate that dietary calcium intake is not associated with risk of fracture, and there is no evidence currently that increasing dietary calcium intake prevents fractures... Collectively, these results suggest that clinicians, advocacy organisations, and health policymakers should not recommend increasing calcium intake for fracture prevention, either with calcium supplements or through dietary sources.

Just to reemphasise the point from the conclusion of that huge, thorough study - health policymakers should not recommend increasing calcium intake. Hopefully Tania Ferraretto and her mates at the DAA will read this blog post and set about reevaluating their position on dairy!

Tania Ferraretto went on to claim that plant milks are basically the same as drinking water, as though that's some kind of negative. Water is the best thing humans can drink for so many different reason, if my milk was almost as healthy then I'd say that's a pretty big positive!

We as a nation are already drinking huge quantities of milk and have done so for many decades, yet our rates of osteoporosis only continue to climb. My guess is that if cow's milk was going to solve the problem then it would have already!

If you want my recommendation - don’t listen to anything that Today Tonight, Tania Ferraretto, or anyone else from the DAA says without looking into it first! Oh and drink plant milks instead of cows milk, better still drink water, please! Do it for your bones! Won’t somebody think of the bones?!

Spud up!



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  • Bill Franks
    Posted at 11:44h, 21 May Reply

    Hi Andrew,
    This bottom paragraph is from a Nutrition Today article giving advice to Dietitians working in industry. In the USA there is a group of Dietitans for ethical practice challenging the status quo. I do not have their link right now.

    Brenda Davis RD is my choice for championing the plant based way in any debate. She knows the research, has the credentials, and is all round awesome! Some Dietitians are in your corner Mate!

    Bill Franks RD

    Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure
    If you're working with the food industry in any capacity, and you give nutrition advice—in the media, on the Internet—or provide client, community, or professional education, it's absolutely essential to disclose your relationships. "I think the most important thing is that any dietitian who works with the food industry should be completely transparent about it," Bellatti says.

    • spudfit-admin
      Posted at 03:40h, 22 May Reply

      Thanks Bill! I wish every dietician, nutritionist, doctor etc. should have to sign an agreement along these lines...

  • Leslie Ann Farrar
    Posted at 14:35h, 24 May Reply

    In a similar situation, someone (a Spuddie, no less) posted an ad for Bone Broth as the next panacea for osteoporosis. The ad was "blessed" by a Dr. Jason Axe, someone I've never heard of and have serious questions about his reliability as an expert on bone strength. Anyway, I responded to the post by saying that Bone Broth is NOT vegan, since elderly people often see ads for something and might be tempted to use bone broth if recommended by "a doctor." Another woman responded by saying "We ALL know that bone broth is not vegan, as if that matters."

    My (further) response was that elderly people often go to a vegan life-style for health reasons. I wanted to make sure that EVERYONE seeing the ad KNEW that bone broth was not vegan so as to not make a mistake and use it if they were vegetarian.

    It seems meat-eaters hang on to their "meat-eating" as if it was sacred . . . and not an option. They'd rather goad someone into using a non-vegan product than be straight-forward up front.

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