The speakers stressed three key facts:
1. All that rumbles is not lactose intolerance. The number of people who think they have to give up dairy foods is much larger than people who actually have lactose intolerance. The US rates of adult lactose intolerance are about 7 percent for Caucasians, 9 percent for Hispanics, and 20 percent for African Americans.
2. Giving up dairy deliciousness can have unintended consequences. Low-fat dairy foods, an important investment in long-term health, promote strong bones, normal blood pressure, and a healthy weight.
3. There are dozens of simple, tasty ways for everyone, even those with lactose intolerance, to enjoy nutrient-rich dairy foods. For some easy-to swallow-tips, you can download the June Healthy Families newsletter from Eat Right Montana (which I write).
The critical issue in terms of kids and schools is that young people in the US simply are not consuming the enough of nutrients found in dairy products, especially calcium and potassium. To insure better nutrition and better health, school nutrition programs need to stay focused on helping kids enjoy more low-fat and fat-free milk, yogurt, and cheese.