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January 21, 2020

Eating More Dairy Would Lower Health Care Costs

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

If Americans ate the recommended level of dairy foods each day, they could collectively save health care costs in excess of $12 billion annually.

The health care cost savings are estimated in a study published last week in Nutrients 2020.

The United States Department of Agriculture estimates American consume about 1.49 cups of dairy food equivalent daily, half of the recommended level in Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA).

According to the study, if Americans would increase their consumption to 3 cups/day, health care cost savings could be $12.5 billion (ranging from $2.0 to $25.6 billion). The savings would come from a reduction in stroke, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer and an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease and prostate cancer.

If the increase in dairy consumption came from low-fat dairy products, the health cost savings would be even more, $14.1 billion (ranging from $800 million to $27.9 billion).

Even more surprising: “Among dairy sub-types, an increase of approximately 0.5 cups/day of yogurt consumption to help meet the DGA recommendations resulted in the highest annual cost savings of $32.5 billion (ranging from $16.5 to $52.8 billion),” reports study authors. Most of these lower costs would come a reduction in type 2 diabetes.

The study was funded by the National Dairy Council. You can read the full study here.