MPs want dairy back on menu

MPs in Westminster holding the recently launched Diary APPG report on dairy and public health.
MPs in Westminster holding the recently launched Diary APPG report on dairy and public health.

A new report published by the Dairy All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) looks at how dairy products contribute to a healthy lifestyle at all ages and calls for greater efforts to promote dairy as part of a balanced diet.

The report, entitled ‘Putting Dairy Back on the Daily Menu’, follows a thorough enquiry on the role of dairy in the public health debate.

The evidence presented to the APPG showed that policies which target individual nutrients do not always provide a balanced view of certain food and often fail to take into account the effect of whole foods and dietary patterns on health outcomes.

Based on evidence received during the enquiry, the Dairy APPG wrote to the Department of Health to ask for the implementation of a three-a-day programme for milk and dairy in nutritional guidelines in the UK.

Heather Wheeler MP, chair of the Dairy APPG, said: “The purpose of this report is to identify how Parliamentarians and Government can work together with industry to support the crucial role of dairy in the public health debate.

“I believe that we in Parliament can, and must, support our great British dairy industry as much as possible and through the Dairy APPG we will make sure we put dairy back on the daily menu.”

Margaret Ritchie MP, vice-chairman of the Dairy APPG, added: “Currents trends in dairy consumption are a concern; although milk and dairy foods are paramount to the development of children and teenagers, younger generations do not always see dairy as being an essential part of their diet. The Government needs to work closely with schools to circulate positive messages about dairy more effectively and ensure that dairy consumption from a young age is a priority.”

A number of Northern Ireland MPs also attended the launch of the report at Westminster.

David Simpson MP said: “It is vital that we press for dairy products to be returned right to the heart of British menus. We all recognise and appreciate the huge health advantages received from dairy products, and this report states a clear strategic vision as to how we push for further recognition of this.”

Ian Paisley said: “Dairy products are paramount to children’s health, growth and well-being and this is a message that we must get out, and I am confident this enquiry will assist with that. We must do all we can to support the dairy industry and the consumption of dairy products both here in Northern Ireland and right across the UK.”