Schools Should Offer Soya Milk

School children should be offered a choice about where they get their calcium from. In a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers from the US Cancer Project found that when young students were offered soya milk, almost a quarter of them chose the calcium-rich, dairy-free drink over cow’s milk. “Soya milk has major health advantages over cow’s milk,” said Jennifer Reilly, a dietician with the Cancer Project and the study’s lead author, “it avoids the problem of lactose intolerance and skips the ‘bad’ fats - and many kids prefer it.” Enriched soya milk does not contain lactose, cholesterol, growth hormones or animal protein (casein), it contains little or no saturated fat, but has as much calcium as cow’s milk. UK schools do not offer soya milk; this study offers strong support for changing that policy.

 

Reilly JK, Lanou AJ, Barnard ND, Seidl K and Green AA. 2006. Acceptability of soymilk as a calcium-rich beverage in elementary school children. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 106 (4) 590-593.