A new clinical report from the AAP recommends dairy for children with lactose intolerance

September 05, 2006

Rosemont, Ill., September 5, 2006 -- A new American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) report1 released today in Pediatrics recommends children with lactose intolerance* include dairy foods as part of a healthy diet in order to get enough calcium, vitamin D, protein and other nutrients essential for bone health and overall growth. The report cautions that lactose intolerance should not require total avoidance of dairy foods.

In fact, the report cites research indicating that many children who are sensitive to lactose can drink small amounts of milk without discomfort, especially when consumed with other foods. Dairy foods that are often well tolerated include hard cheese, such as Cheddar or Swiss, yogurt containing live active cultures, and lactose-free or lactose-reduced milk.

"While calcium-fortified beverages and other foods can provide an alternative source of calcium, the report reinforces that they do not provide an equivalent nutrient package to dairy foods like milk, cheese and yogurt," said Ann Marie Krautheim, registered dietitian and senior vice president of nutrition and health promotion at the National Dairy Council. "We hope this report will further educate parents on how to continue to include dairy in the diets of children sensitive to lactose and also help improve their nutrient intake."

As confirmed by this report, patients who think they may be sensitive to lactose should talk with their doctors for a full evaluation, as dietary history alone is an unreliable tool for diagnosing the condition.

The AAP recommendation for children and adolescents with lactose intolerance to choose dairy foods first for overall diet quality and adequate intake of many nutrients is consistent with guidance found in the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans2 and from the National Medical Association3, the largest African American physicians group in the country. For those who have trouble digesting lactose, the following tips can be used to help keep dairy in the diet: Editor's notes on lactose intolerance:
Sources: 1. American Academy of Pediatrics, Lactose intolerance in infants, children, and adolescents. Pediatrics. 2006; 118 (3):1279-1286. 2. HHS and USDA, Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005. 3. Wooten, W, et. al. The Role of Dairy and Dairy Nutrients in the Diet of African Americans. Journal of National Medical Association. 2004; 96(12):20S-24S.

About the National Dairy Council
The National Dairy Council® was founded in 1915 and conducts nutrition education and nutrition research programs through national, state and regional Dairy Council organizations, on behalf of America's dairy farmers.

The American Dairy Association/National Dairy Council (ADA/NDC) is managed by Dairy Management Inc., the nonprofit domestic and international planning and management organization responsible for increasing demand for U.S.-produced dairy products on behalf of America's dairy farmers.

National Dairy Council

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