A growing body of research shows that too much milk can be harmful for adults, even though the federal government pushes dairy products as healthy and provides subsidies topping $4.5 billion a year, according to a new report.
reports that agricultural industries benefit from taxpayer-funded nutrition campaigns, including the "Got Milk?" campaign, which preaches that milk contains essential nutrients and "helps bones grow strong."
Since 2005, federal dietary guidelines have advised adults to consume the dairy equivalent of three cups of milk per day — a full cup more than was previously recommended.
But many recent studies suggest adults need very little calcium and that consuming too much dairy can actually be harmful.
"We need to realize the economic and health effects of drinking that much milk," says David Levitsky, a professor in Cornell University's Division of Nutritional Sciences, "and the role that the dairy industry plays in setting the agenda."
Research by Walter Willett, who leads the nutrition department at Harvard University, has found that adults who drink or ate large amounts of dairy have a higher risk of certain health problems than those who consumed small or moderate amounts.
Recent studies have found women who drink two and a half or more glasses of milk a day have a higher fracture risk than those who consume less than one glass a day, while men who down two or more glasses of milk a day are almost twice as likely to develop advanced prostate cancer as those who drank no milk.
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