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The Journal of the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at The George Washington University


The ‘Got Milk?’ campaign raised an entire generation to believe that dairy is an essential part of a healthy diet, but is milk really the wholesome beverage we think it is? This article explores the presumed health benefits of dairy consumption articulated by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). Although the DGA asserts that dairy is associated with bone health and other positive health outcomes, existing evidence suggests otherwise. As such, this article advocates for a new evidence review that would assess the association between dairy and negative health outcomes—particularly in relation to bone health, saturated fat content, and chronic disease. The article also identifies problems with the new DGA process, which identifies questions for the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee (DGAC) before the DGAC members are selected. Finally, the article addresses the public’s relationship with different dairy and non-dairy alternative products and how the California Milk Processor Board is working to influence this relationship. Recommendations for the DGA are provided at the end.

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