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Children need up-to-date health advice

Re: "Concern over poor diets, lack of exercise and obesity", National, June 8.

The Sunday Nation discusses obesity and health in Thai children. Since the study cited was sponsored by a milk company, it was no surprise that milk drinking was advised. However there are several traps here, which even adults need to be aware of.

Milk is high in calcium, but after pasteurisation it loses 90 per cent of the phosphotase enzyme needed for calcium absorption. The "friendly" immunity-boosting bacteria have been killed, but not salmonella, e-coli nor listeria, which need boiling. Immunity-boosting whey proteins are damaged. A newborn calf fed only pasteurised milk dies in six weeks. Zoos source raw milk for the young.

Idiotic government health advice recommends six teaspoons of sugar a day. Milk drinks are often sugared, so apart from the 76 harmful effects of sugar on a child's health, they become obese, (if they have a medium or heavy bone structure). In human physiology it's the carbohydrates that fatten. Sugar and carbs also raise triglycerides (blood fats) - a major cause of clogged arteries. High-fructose corn syrup has recently been shown to cause massive and rapid fat gains.

Milk and milk products are often sold minus cream. Labels proudly claim "no cholesterol", yet cholesterol is essential for life. Dietary cholesterol does not cause arterial calcification, whatever vegetarian Eric Bahrt may proclaim. The opposite is true. Cream in full milk, yoghurt, cheeses and butter, synthesise vitamin B6 in the gut, with the aid of the "friendly" bacteria. B6 lowers blood homocysteine, another main cause of arterial calcification (Malhotra S L Dr, Lancet 1974-today: 13 papers).

For as long as the public continues to be misinformed by food purveyors and by health authorities, Thailand will continue to have sickly and obese children and adults as a result.

Thomas Turk

Phuket


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