7. “Have milk, maas or yoghurt every day”: a food-based dietary guideline for South Africa

  • Hester H Vorster North West University (Potchefstroom)
  • F A M Wenhold University of Pretoria
  • H H Wright North-West University
  • E Wentzel-Viljoen North-West University
  • C S Venter North-West University
  • M Vermaak Consumer Education Programme of Milk SA
Keywords: milk, dairy, nutrients, health benefits, barriers

Abstract

A national working group recently reached consensus that a guideline message for milk consumption should form part of the set of revised food-based dietary guidelines (FBDGs) for South Africa. The message was formulated as: “Have milk, maas or yoghurt every day”. This paper provides scientific support for this FBDG, based on the nutrition and health profile of South Africans; addresses concerns about possible detrimental effects of milk consumption, such as lactose intolerance, saturated fat and trans-fat content, milk allergies and dental caries in children; and identifies barriers to increased consumption. The guideline refers to milk, maas and yoghurt, and not all dairy products. This is based on the nutrient contribution of these products to a healthy diet. Milk (and some dairy products) has a low sodium-to-potassium ratio, as well as bioactive peptides, which may protect against the development of noncommunicable diseases. There is some evidence that the calcium in milk and dairy plays an important role in the regulation of body weight and bone mineral content in children. Available data show that milk and calcium intake in South Africans is low. Identified barriers include perceptions about lactose intolerance, taste, price, lack of knowledge on the nutritive value of milk and milk products, and possibly cultural taboos. As a result, increasing the consumption of milk, maas and yoghurt of South Africans will require active, multifaceted and multilevel promotion.

Author Biographies

Hester H Vorster, North West University (Potchefstroom)
DSc Professor in Nutrition Centre of Excellence for Nutrition North-West University Potchefstroom South Africa
F A M Wenhold, University of Pretoria
PhD, RD (SA) Senior Lecturer Department of Human Nutrition University of Pretoria Pretoria South Africa
H H Wright, North-West University
PhD, RD(SA) Centre of Excellence for Nutrition North-West University Potchefstroom South Africa
E Wentzel-Viljoen, North-West University
PhD, RD(SA) Professor in Nutrition Centre of Excellence for Nutrition North-West University Potchefstroom South Africa
C S Venter, North-West University
DSc, RD(SA) Professor in Nutrition Centre of Excellence for Nutrition North-West University Potchefstroom South Africa
M Vermaak, Consumer Education Programme of Milk SA
B Diet, Post-grad Dipl Hosp Diet, RD (SA) Dietitian Consumer Education Programme of Milk SA
Published
2013-08-20
Section
Food-Based Dietary Guidelines for South Africa