Bellatti on Dairy Industry Influence of USDA’s New “My Plate”

Andy Bellatti with a solid critique of the USDA’s just-released “My Plate” dietary guidelines. Surprise, surprise, the milk industry won its own separate category. Bellatti’s response:

My first order of business — that proverbial dairy group on the side of My Plate;science lobbying at its finest.  Since the plate differentiates between fruits, vegetables, proteins, and grains, it begs the question — why aren’t dairy products included with the “protein” group?  After all, a serving of dairy has as much protein as a serving of meat, chicken, fish, beans, nuts, and seeds.

The fact that dairy has calcium is irrelevant; some green vegetables offer just as much calcium as milk — and in a more absorbable form — yet they are contained within the vegetable group.  If the USDA were truly concerned with calcium intake (rather than returning the financial favor to the dairy industry), it would make a “calcium-rich food” group and include a wide variety of calcium-rich foods with equal prominence (milk, cheese, and yogurt along with kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and fortified dairy alternatives).

He’s right, and it’s not even a close call. There is no reasonable justification for giving dairy products their own separate category. And industry lobbying should have no place in government food recommendations. Link.


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