Health professionals and some doctors are putting pressure on the UK government to ban schools from providing free dairy milk.
The Labour government of 1946 introduced the idea to give children an “extra nutritional boost” when the food supply was cut short by providing free milk to children up until their fifth birthday.
But now, the UK government is facing pressure from doctors and health professionals to ban free dairy milk in schools. At the same time, Plant Based Health Professionals UK has partnered with global initiative World Plant Milk Day to offer school children plant-based milk instead of the standard dairy.
There have been growing concerns on the health benefits of dairy. The main advantage behind cow’s milk is that it is a good source of calcium and contains nutrients for bone health, like phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin D and protein, and a lack of it could lead to being at risk of osteoporosis.
However, Dr Leila Dehghan of Plant Based Health Professionals says otherwise.
“Dairy is not necessary for human health, and yet the NHS repeatedly encourages the public to consume dairy as a source of protein and calcium, and also cautions them not to ditch dairy. This advice does not take into account that up to 75% of the Black population and 90% of South Asians are lactose intolerant. They suffer in silence with symptoms that could easily be resolved by removing dairy from their diets,” she told The Vegan Review.
Other than many not wanting to consume dairy as it comes from cows, there are allegedly many health drawbacks examples being increased risk of prostate cancer, acne, cholesterol issues, and ovarian cancer.
“Plant Based Health Professionals UK has partnered with World Plant Milk Day to draw attention to the adverse health effects of dairy. Plant milks are an excellent alternative. In fact, plant milks like soy milk may have health benefits like reducing the risk of breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men,” said Dehghan.
“This is part of an initiative to eradicate institutionalised racism in healthcare system. We hope that the nutritional guidelines are changed to include and accommodate the needs of people of colour.”