Is Dairy Really Healthy?

New studies show that dairy isn’t good for the human body.


Taken by Nia Botti. Milk in a traditional bottle.

By Nia Botti, Staff Writer

Sometimes, if a legend is told enough, people will begin to see it as reality. This has proven to be true in the past with the geocentric theory* and other legends that were heavily promoted by certain groups. Now, the idea of so strongly believing in a legend or tall tale is laughed at and thought of as a thing of the past. However, many people today are believing a false idea that they are extremely confident in— the idea that milk is healthy. Scientists and doctors have done research, and what many people see as the benefits of dairy are actually problems with it.

“Drink plenty of milk!” may be what a child is told by their parents, teachers, or even sometimes doctors. This isn’t like forcing a child to eat disgusting vegetables because milk can be found in all sorts of flavors. Everybody loves Chocolate, Vanilla, Plain, or Strawberry milk. It tastes great, and supposedly makes people healthy. In fact, several Summer and Winter Olympians admitted to Milk Life that they grew up drinking milk. If the Olympians are doing it, someone might think, then it must be healthy.

Drink plenty of milk!”

Many people are taught that milk is healthy for their bones, aids in digestion, and helps kids grow. However, recent studies show that milk has a neutral effect on some people and causes harm to the rest. Cows’ milk is a strong substance that isn’t meant for humans, but cows. Cows have a much stronger digestive system than humans, which can fully digest milk so that it can go through the body harmlessly. Humans, however, have a weaker digestive system that cannot fully digest milk. Though only a few people claim to have a dairy allergy to Calcium or Lactose, 75% of people are actually dairy intolerant, even if they cannot feel the reaction. Just because a person does not feel an itch or a stomachache, the dairy may very well be not digesting correctly within their body.

Dairy that does not digest correctly is harmful to the bones. Because cows have a stronger digestive system than humans, the milk they drink can properly digest and move through their bodies and benefit their bones, but humans’ weak digestive system cannot fully digest milk, causing it to be too strong for the bones, wearing them down.  People that drink too much milk may have bone problems such as easy breaking or fracturing.

People that drink too much milk may have bone problems such as easy breaking or fracturing.”

According to ‘legend’, milk helps the body stay strong, but legends are like fairy tales— fiction, but have a hidden message. The idea that milk is healthy for the bones and that it helps children grow started back in the late 1800s, when the first USDA food pyramid was created. Sure, in today’s world people may be able to research and learn about what they eat, but in that time, people believed whatever they were told. The government wanted to promote sales of certain products, which is why they made the first pyramid to begin with. They claimed that it was created to help people stay healthy, but really it was there to promote sales of certain products. It said that in order to stay healthy people should eat, along with other products, fats and gluten! Today, people see it as common sense that those aren’t healthy at all, but they may not realize that they are still falling for a food pyramid idea that is promoted by the government. Dairy is still on the food pyramid, and while one may not base what they eat off of the food pyramid, many stores and programs promote what is on the food pyramid because it helps them make money.

A recent survey** on this topic was conducted here at George Ranch high school. After several students and teachers were asked if they thought milk was healthy, the conclusion was made that out of every ten people, six think milk is healthy for them. That’s 60% of the school that believes that dairy is healthy, which is an idea that originally came from a promotion of sales in the food pyramid. Many claim that milk is good for their bones, but it has been proven that this is actually the opposite of the truth.

Some of the people who think dairy isn’t healthy drink almond milk, which is dairy free and actually has many benefits, and though it doesn’t taste exactly like cow’s milk, it is very easy to get used to.

Many children have grown up drinking milk, especially as babies. Babies normally start by drinking their mother’s breast milk, and then transfer to formula, and then to whole milk. However, now, it is recommended that babies drink their mother’s breast milk from six to twelve months of age, and after that, cease drinking milk altogether.  It is more likely than not that they are part of the 75% of people that have an allergy to dairy, and in this day and age it is known that cow’s milk really isn’t good for the bones, so why give it to a baby to begin with?

Dairy has proven to be unhealthy and a common allergy. It is also a large industry that has been heavily promoted in the past and in today’s world. This should be a wake-up call to some about what is healthy and unhealthy. A person should not assume that something is healthy because a TV commercial, a store, or the government says it is. Instead, they should do their own research and find out the pros and cons of different foods. Dairy isn’t healthy, so there aren’t any more reasons to make excuses that ice cream for dinner is healthy because it has milk in it.

*Geocentric Theory- the idea that the whole universe revolved around the Earth.

** Survey conducted by the writer