The Physicians Committee

White Lies? Five Milk Myths Debunked

  February 11, 2016    

Last month, a study was called into question for suggesting that chocolate milk could be beneficial for teens recovering from concussions. Not surprisingly, the study was funded by the dairy industry. For decades, milk marketers have been spreading misleading information about the supposed health benefits of dairy products.


Thanks to these marketing campaigns, milk myths abound in our culture. But science doesn’t support them. Let’s take a look at five common claims about dairy products:

Myth 1: Milk builds strong bones.

The dairy and bone health link is one of the most pervasive milk myths. One large-scale Harvard study followed 72,000 women for two decades and found no evidence that drinking milk can prevent bone fractures or osteoporosis. Another study of more than 96,000 people found that the more milk men consumed as teenagers, the more bone fractures they experience as adults. Similarly, another study found that adolescent girls who consumed the most calcium, mostly in the form of dairy products, were at greater risk for stress fractures than those consuming less calcium.

Myth 2: Drinking milk can help you lose weight.

While advertisers would like you to believe that drinking milk can slim you down, studies consistently show that dairy products offer zero benefits for weight control. One major study even found that dairy products might lead to weight gain. In 2005, the Physicians Committee petitioned the FTC to put an immediate end to the dairy industry’s misleading campaigns about milk and weight control. In response, the government no longer allows advertising campaigns to claim that dairy products lead to weight loss.


Myth 3: Milk is “nature’s perfect food.”

Cow’s milk might be ideal for growing baby cows, but it’s far from a perfect food for humans. More than 60 percent of people are lactose intolerant, which can lead to uncomfortable symptoms like cramping, diarrhea, and bloating. Regular consumption of dairy products has also been linked to prostate cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, and ovarian cancer.

Myth 4: Kids need milk to be healthy.

After babies are weaned from breast milk or formula, they do not need any type of milk to be healthy. Milk consumption during childhood has even been linked to colic and type 1 diabetes. Another study found no evidence that low-fat milk plays any role in preventing childhood obesity.

Myth 5: Milk is heart-healthy.

Milk and other dairy products are the top sources of artery-clogging saturated fat in the American diet. Milk products also contain dietary cholesterol. Diets high in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease, which remains America’s top killer.




Feeling better

Quality of life has improved multiple folds since I ditched dairy


Got a real kick out of my seven year old grandson trying to explain to six year old that milk is not good for you. I have not drank milk for a couple of years.


These have absolutely no evidence to support them, and are just people who don't drink milk who make this! D:<

Even I know these are true

I like how you are trying to dispute scientific evidence. Please review the facts and stop trying to deny the science.

why lie?

What is in it for the people disputing the dairy and meat industry? Threats perhaps? Lawsuits? Most of the companies trying to help fix this mess get picked on, chewed up, bullied, and bought out by the same industry.


i was a vegetarian and then a vegan, but my parents made me a meat eater again and make me drink milk. i tell them that it is bad for them and that the animals suffer, but they never listen. they like being right all the time and will never admit they are wrong, even if they found it out and i died from the meat and milk.


I don't necessarily agree or disagree with this advertisement, and yes, that's exactly what it is. However, I do know that when they do these studies, they do NOT include people who generally watch what they eat and get plenty of "PROPER" exercise. They do not look at people who may drink milk but also are minimal in consuming other foods thought to be harmful or questionable. They always use people who are "typical" of most of the population. The result, studies confirming negative results under our current lifestyles. Watch what, how and when you eat and get good, proper exercise and the entire study may come up with different results. I drink milk, and when I use the time to exercise, the contents of milk and ice cream do make a difference in whether I can maintain a good weight. In 1995 I weighed 345 pounds, and today I weigh 185 pounds. I know about that of which I speak.


If humans are suppose to consume milk, why do cows only give milk for a short time while their calves are small and not all the time? Makes it look like their milk is for their calves and not humans.

Because it is cow's milk

Because it is cow's milk which is naturally of course meant to be consumed by the calves... It's the same way human females only produce milk during a period of time when they have a child. We humans simply have the habit of making a product out of anything that we can get our hands on..

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