Wipe Off Your Milk Mustache
From an advertising standpoint, the infamous "milk mustache" ads are quite slick. Take your favorite celebrity, add an appealing health claim, wrap it in a nice finish, and people take notice. From a physician's standpoint, however, the campaign is all fluff.
PCRM has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission because the ads mislead the public about milk's bone-building ability. Federal guidelines place restrictions on advertisers in promoting high-fat foods as beneficial to bones. However, Britney Spears's "mustache" ad pushes four glasses of milk daily, which has 33 grams of fat (20 of which is artery-clogging saturated fat). Furthermore, there is no scientific evidence suggesting that African- or Hispanic-American men benefit from drinking milk. Yet the Marc Anthony and Jackie Chan ads suggest just that.
The Harvard Nurses' Health Study followed 77,761 women over a 12-year period and found that those who drank three or more glasses of milk per day had no reduction at all in the risk of hip or arm fractures, compared to those who drank little or no milk. In fact, milk drinkers' fracture rates were slightly higher. A recent study of 20,000 men also found a moderate elevation in prostate cancer risk associated with higher intakes of five dairy products including milk, cheese, and ice cream.
The safest way to keep bones healthy and strong is by attaining proper calcium balance. Studies have shown that eating low-fat, calcium-rich vegetables and beans, getting regular exercise, minimizing salt, animal protein, and caffeine, and not smoking afford the best protection possible.