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Milk: It Doesn't Do a Body Good?

Short & Sweet

Milk may not be as nutritious for kids as we moms think. In fact, this kiddie beverage of choice may actually be harmful.

The Lowdown

How many times when you were growing up did you hear that drinking milk was good for you? In fact, if you're like me, you've passed down this pearl of parenting wisdom to your kids.

It's true that the USDA recommends drinking two cups of the white stuff per day in toddlerhood. And it suggests up to 3 cups a day after that, for the rest of your life. But according to The New York Times, it's time to put down the carton.

Although we're used to hearing the slogan "milk does a body good," evidence is mounting to the contrary. Several studies have failed to find a link between strong bones and drinking the calcium-super beverage. One such study, which appeared in the journal JAMA Pediatrics this year, found that consuming milk during the teenage years was in no way associated with a reduced risk of hip fractures later life. Other studies have even found an increased risk of bone fractures associated with drinking the beverage we have been raised to believe is health in a glass.

Milk is also high in calories when compared with other beverages, such as water, tea, coffee and certain juices. When you consider the obesity epidemic in this country, that fact is hard to swallow.

Still, the drink in question may offer some benefits, like added vitamin D and protein. But Aaron E. Carroll, the professor of pediatrics who wrote The New York Times piece, says most kids and adults aren't deficient in either of these diet essentials. So basically, we don't need more than we're already getting through other food sources.

The Upshot

No one is suggesting that milk should be cut out of your children's diets, or yours for that matter. But it may be worth taking a second look at just how much moo juice your family drinks.

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