China Consumers Association (CCA) and some 300 experts are encouraging the Chinese public to add dairy products to their diets in the new century, according to a report from China Environment News.
The suggestion was made in line with CCA’s 2001 theme of “Green Consumption.” According to nutritionists, 0.5 liter of milk can provide 50 percent of the animal protein and calcium needed by an individual each day.
Milk consumption is also a critical factor for the World Health Organization (WHO) in evaluating a country’s living standards.
But milk is not traditionally part of the Chinese diet and occupies only a marginal segment of grocery sales.
The annual per capita milk consumption in China is only 6.4 kg, much less than the 105-kg world average and the 300-kg level in some developed nations.
Scientific surveys indicate that there are no differences in terms of growth between Chinese and foreign babies less than 12 months. But the growth rate of Chinese children is considerably slower after one year and is even slower during puberty, compared with their foreign counterparts.
Scientists attribute the growth differences to the lower milk consumption of Chinese children. They also warn people about the risks of concomitant rachitis, calcium shortages and osteoporosis. Milk products are recommended by the CCA as a solution to these problems.
The CCA Green Consumption activities promote the use of healthy and environmentally friendly products, to pay attention to garbage processing and to regard one’s health as a life priority, according to Cao Tiandian, president of the CCA.