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IDFA Praises House Passage of Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act of 2023, Urges Swift Senate Action

WASHINGTON, Dec. 13, 2023—The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act of 2023—a bill that would allow for whole and reduced-fat varieties of milk to once again be served in school cafeterias—by a vote of 330 to 99. Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), released the following statement commending the strong bipartisan vote:

“IDFA praises the strong bipartisan passage of the Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act by the U.S. House of Representatives and calls for swift action on the companion bill in the U.S. Senate so that schools can once again provide children with a wide variety of milk options that deliver essential nutrients and meet their individual needs—whether that be whole or 2%, low-fat, or lactose-free milk.

“Whole and 2% milk provide children with 13 essential nutrients for growth, development, healthy immune function, and overall wellness. Since whole and 2% milk were banned from school meals menus more than a decade ago, meal participation has declined while food waste has climbed, meaning children are consuming fewer essential nutrients. This is especially concerning considering underconsumption of milk and dairy products is prevalent among school-aged children, where between 68% and 94% of school age boys and girls are failing to meet recommended levels of dairy intake per federal guidelines. At the same time, nutrition science has evolved in the past decade to show neutral or positive benefits of full-fat dairy foods such as whole milk, including less weight gain, neutral or lower risk of heart disease, and lower childhood obesity. A wide majority of parents and medical and nutrition professionals recognize that offering these options increases school meal participation, reduces food waste, and provides nutritionally valuable school meals for children and adolescents. In fact, up to 80% of voting adults and parents support offering whole or 2% milk as part of school meals, according to surveys conducted by Morning Consult.”

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