Milk: It Does A Study Good

From the annual meeting of the American College of Nutrition, Arlington, Va.

As we all know, it’s essential to include disclosure information in our medical news stories. And sometimes the choices of news presented at a meeting are influenced by sponsors, too. I wasn’t shocked, but I was surprised that each and every symposium at the annual meeting of the American College of Nutrition was sponsored by multiple nutrition-oriented companies.

This was not a huge meeting, and the most clinically interesting material that our physician readers might enjoy was in the symposium that was sponsored by the National Dairy Council. Although the program says that (for the most part) the presentations themselves were not sponsored, when I looked into it I found that several of the presenters also had dairy council ties. The themes of the presentations were, guess what? Consuming more dairy is good!  The sponsorship doesn’t mean that the studies aren’t valid, but it’s another example of what to remember to mention in terms of disclosures–be mindful of symposium or section sponsorships as well as sponsorships from a specific study.

The National Dairy Council is interested in promoting dairy, but their claims about dairy’s benefits aren’t unfounded. There is a growing body of evidence for the benefits of including plenty of dairy in your diet. In fact, several of the presentations were literature reviews that included non-sponsored studies that showed associations between health benefits and dairy consumption.  I heard today that the American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending increased amounts of vitamin D for children with the goal of preventing disease later in life, and guess how kids can get more vitamin D? From dairy products.  For more information about dairy and health, and for the latest from the AAP about vitamin D, check out nationaldairycouncil.org and aap.org.

—Heidi Splete

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Filed under Family Medicine, Pediatrics

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