Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Soy / Rice Milk and Malnutrition? NOT!

Normally, I don't use my blog as a forum to express controversial topics. But I have been inflamed! I am so irritated by the media. Read my whole rant before you make a judgement, please.

In the article I read today is entitled "Health: Does 'Milk' Hurt Kids?" Mary Carmichael reports that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently discovered TWO cases of children who were malnourished and an unknown number of undernourished children. These children were also consuming rice or soy milk and so Carmichael states the CDC blames the malnourishment on the rice/soy milk.


1. This article does not tell us what the children's complete diets consist of. Are they eating only Nilla Wafers and soy milk? Or hot dogs, Skippy and rice milk? Well, then, DUH, the children are going to be malnourished, but not because of the rice/soy milk -- because they are not getting a varied diet of fruits, veggies, grains, and legumes. Many parents make the mistake (I've counseled them for years) of believing that their infant/child automatically a) won't like whole grains and veggies, and 2) naturally prefer "children's" foods, i.e., refined foods marketed to children. While those parents mean well, they don't realize that is a fallacy ingrained into our brains by the media. Babies will learn to love what is given to them over and over. By the time they are toddlers, bad habits are fully learned (but not irreversably).

This article implies that rice/soy milk itself is cause of malnourishment, as if a child, otherwise eating a complete balanced diet, would become malnourished simply because of the rice/soy milk. Any lay person (and many health professionals) could easily come away after reading this article, that rice/soy milk should not be given to young children of any age.

2. While not mentioned, the article makes the silent implication that the child should be drinking cow's milk instead. More on that later. (Side note: Did you know that the only studies (that I know of, and I've done a lot of research on it, that state that dairy helps people lose weight were funded by the dairy industry?)


1. Rice/soy milk should NOT be used as formula. Infants, particularly under 12 months of age require breast milk or formula which is specifically formulated for the nutritional needs of infants. Most rice/soy milk packaging states that on its label, but perhaps it does need to be more prominently displayed. (BTW, cow's milk should never be given to infants under 12 months, either, as it causes gastrointestinal bleeding and is specifically formulated to make an 80 pound calf grow to 1000 pounds in one year, not for the highly complex brains of humans).

2. If human babies required the lactated secretions of another species (cows, goats) to live, then why do other cultures that don't consume dairy have healthy babies, children, and adults, such as Japan? Nor do those cultures develop osteoporosis at the rate Americans do, either. Dozens of studies show that cows milk leads to obesity in children and is linked to Type I diabetes. I could really go on a rant about cow's milk here, but I better hush.

Bottom Line: Infants and toddlers are becoming malnourished because of the lack of nutrition in their overall diet, NOT because of rice/soy milk. Secondly, parents who give their infants anything other than breast milk or formula as their primary source of nutrition need to be educated.

I'm done now. I'd like to take this moment to say that I have lots of friends and family who give milk to their kids and I've never made an issue out of it, as I think it's inappropriate and a self-righteous attitude certainly won't get anyone to do their own research. Eat/drink what you want, just educate yourselves, that's all I ask.


At Wednesday, May 03, 2006 5:45:00 PM, Blogger lostgirl said...

Sheryle: Hear Hear! And how about the people who upon hearing someone is vegetarian, ask in hushed tones "but how do you get enough protein?". Or my personal sister (whom I adore) can not wrap her head around the concept of taking a recipe and substituting something else in place of the beef it calls for....and she is a smart woman. LOL!
Excellent rant! Well thought out and written.

At Wednesday, May 03, 2006 10:32:00 PM, Blogger Sheryle said...

lostgirl: LOL, yeah, people also don't have the first clue what I eat or feed my family. I wrote a diary for a month on what we ate and one of these days I'm going to post it. It's not 30 days of carrots and tofu, can you believe it?

It is very hard for most people who've eaten the standard American diet all their lives, to conceive of a vegetarian lifestyle. Most folks build the meal around the meat, and if the meat ain't there, uh, uh, uh...

Ok, meat-eating readers out there, yes, you. No I'm not making fun of you. Maybe just a little. Ok, I'm making fun of you. But you knew I have to get y'all back for the years of tofu jokes!

Q: How many vegetarians does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: I don't know, but where do you get your protein?

At Thursday, May 04, 2006 5:20:00 AM, Blogger lostgirl said...

Sheryle: LOL! Oh my, I so know what you mean. You should try living here in the mid-west where if you weigh under 200 pounds they tell you you're anorexic. And then when they find out you're vegetarian, they say "no wonder you're so skinny"......uh,'s about moderation in all things. Even vegetarians can be overweight.
Am I making fun of Hoosiers?......absolutely! The cow and pig fed, good 'ol boys. LOL!

At Thursday, May 04, 2006 5:23:00 AM, Anonymous lawbrat said...

I was a vegetarian for a very, very long time. Roughly 16 years. When I was preggers with Brennen, my OB said my baby was going to be sickly and skinny b/c I didnt eat any meat. He was 8lb, 7oz, and right on time! I changed OB's in my 8th month b/c I was so tired of her meanness about me not eating meat.

After Hunter I started eating white meat, then last (late summer or fall) started eating red meat again. Let me tell ya!! We still have vegetarian meals. Its not a big deal for me or the boys to not have meat in a meal. I'll still get things without the meat when we go out.
The boys have always loved veggies. They didnt the first try- you keep trying. It takes!!

I fully agree that having soymilk does not make a child/person malnutritioned.

At Thursday, May 04, 2006 9:11:00 PM, Blogger Sheryle said...

lostgirl: One can eat nothing but Krispy Kremes and milkshakes and still be a vegetarian, or french fries and potato chips and still be a vegan! The label doesn't make one healthy, it's **shocker** what you eat!

lawbrat: Yeah, it amazes me that health professionals don't know about diet, although it shouldn't because doctors and nurses are taught very, very little about nutrition in school.

At least you have a well-rounded diet and don't feed your family junk for every meal. I read/heard somewhere that it takes 15 tries to develop a taste for a food. Sounds like you did those 15 tries for veggies and didn't give up at one!

At Sunday, May 07, 2006 4:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No wonder my two oldest sons are so weird....I gave them homemade infant formula made with cow's milk and Karo corn syrup. I think the oldest one DOES have a cow brain! JAD

At Monday, May 08, 2006 7:50:00 PM, Blogger Sheryle said...

JAD: LOL, no, see, I know you, therefore I know that it is the mother that's weird in this case. If the son's are weird, it's probably genetics, not cow pus, I mean milk. :)


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