chapter  4
Pages 19

As we saw in the previous chapter, milk promotions in the U.S. historically have rested on claims that milk is a “special” food, one that enhances or is essential for proper child growth. These have come to include assertions about milk’s importance to bone density, and to reducing the risk of osteoporosis and related fractures among older individuals, especially post-menopausal women. There has also been a recent attempt to link milk consumption to weight loss, although a lack of strong evidence has required a softening of this claim. There are many other statements out there concerning milk’s impact on the risk of other diseases (cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, etc.), but to review them all would be well beyond the scope of this book. I will focus on the relationship between milk and child growth and “strong bones,” as these messages have endured and seem most intuitive for many people. Since calcium is central to many of these, I will start with this mineral.