Dairy: Role in teen diets to be discussed at World Dairy Summit

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23 Oct 2017 --- The “crucial” role that dairy can play in teenage diets will be a key debate at the forthcoming World Dairy Summit being held in Belfast later this month. For example, around a fifth of teenage girls across the world are currently falling short on their recommended daily intake of calcium, iodine and riboflavin, according to the Dairy UK press release. Dairy could help to fill the gap.

Dairy could be crucial for teenagers
While dairy consumption is generally on the rise, Dairy UK points out that teenagers who turn away from dairy are not aware of the potential impact on long-term health.

Good nutrition is important for everyone but for teenagers it is particularly important because the teen years are critical for the laying down of calcium in bone. Unfortunately, the diets of teenagers are not always good, and this can have implications for the long term.

The topic of teenage nutrition and attitudes towards dairy consumption is thus something that will be discussed in greater detail at the International Dairy Federation’s (IDF) World Dairy Summit 2017.

At the event, Dairy UK has announced that internationally renowned speakers will share their knowledge and experience in this area. For example, Marianne Smith Edge, Dietitian and Founder AgriNutrition Edge (formerly The International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation, US) will focus on understanding Gen Z attitudes and consumption patterns as a foundation for dairy consumption and innovation. Dr. Moshe Mishali, Psychologist, University of Haifa, Israel will focus on behavior changes in families around diets and milk consumption.

“Rapid increases in height, weight, and bone development, along with a number of other physical changes during the teenage years, can have a major influence on nutritional requirements, and demand for both nutrients and energy are high,” adds Dr. Judith Bryans, President of the IDF and Chief Executive of Dairy UK. “The teenage diet is a challenge faced by our industry worldwide, and I look forward to welcoming our renowned speakers to Belfast and learning from their expertise in this area.”

Milk alternatives being examined
The summit is being held at a time when the nutritional benefits of milk-alternative drinks are under the microscope, with a recent study in the British Journal of Nutrition having shown that consumers of these drinks may be at risk of iodine deficiency.

“Many people are unaware of the need for this vital dietary mineral and it is important that people who consume milk-alternative drinks realize that they will not be replacing the iodine from cows’ milk which is the main UK source of iodine,” said Margaret Rayman, Professor of Nutritional Medicine at the University of Surrey, at the time.

The meeting also comes hot on the heels of the European Court of Justice ruling on June 14 that purely plant-based products cannot be marketed with names such as “milk,” “cream,” “butter,” “cheese” or “yogurt,” which are strictly reserved by EU law for animal products.

An article in the September 2017 edition of The World of Food Ingredients notes how this decision also pertains to products that used dairy-related terms in conjunction with clarifying or descriptive terms indicating the plant origin of the product concerned.

The IDF World Dairy Summit will be hosted by the UK National Committee of the International Dairy Federation (IDF) and will take place in Belfast from October 30 to November 2.

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