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Arla reacts to new Public Health England guidelines

Recommended reduction in dairy consumption may not be deemed as good guidance.



“Arla Foods is surprised and disappointed to see the Government’s new Eatwell guidance, with a reduction in the suggested amount of dairy that should be consumed, and are seeking an urgent meeting to clarify what, if any, scientific and nutritional data this new guidance has been based upon.

“Dairy, and milk in particular, is proven to be a unique food and source of nutrition at all life stages, and for specific groups of the population including children and pregnant women. In fact, there are more vitamins and minerals in milk than almost any other food source.

“Milk is nutritious by nature and having dairy in one’s daily diet is a simple and tasty way to assure intake of important nutrients¹. Therefore, we are perplexed as to why the new guidance to consumers states that they should lessen their intake.

“As the leading dairy company in the UK, we are very aware of wider health issues facing the nation, and the importance of people making healthier choices in the food and drink they consume. That’s why we are focused on developing new products, for example with lower levels of added sugar, fat, lower salt, increased protein, or boosted vitamins, to increase the range of choice for consumers. For example, we recently launched a fat-free milk that tastes as good as semi-skimmed, and a range of yogurts with increased protein for those seeking higher protein foods.

“While it is absolutely important that public guidelines are regularly reviewed to meet the changing needs of our population, it is also vital that messages to consumers about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods are clear. There is a very real risk that, as part of a wider dialogue about this new guidance, the value of dairy and the natural, nutritional benefit of milk is forgotten by those who need it most. For example, 19 per cent of teenage girls have very low intake of calcium and 22 per cent have very low intake of vitamin B2. Against this backdrop of poor nutrition, we believe that the latest guidance could be misleading, confusing, and will potentially exacerbate an already critical situation.”

¹Milk is a source of protein, calcium, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, potassium, phosphorous and iodine.

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