February 11, 2004 NUTRITION NEWS FOCUS "Nutrition news is important. We help you understand it!" Today's Topic: Eating Dairy Saves Healthcare Dollars A new analysis concludes that if American ate 3-4 servings of dairy foods each day, the country would save more than 200 billion dollars over five years. This estimate is based on reductions of obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, kidney stones, preeclampsia of pregnancy, and colorectal cancer with greater intake of dairy foods, the primary dietary sources of calcium and vitamin D. This was an academic exercise, estimating current healthcare expenses and basing the reductions in costs on many controlled trials, observational studies, and long-term prospective surveys of people consuming dairy or taking calcium supplements. The study was published in the January 2004 issue of the American Journal of Hypertension. < http://www.cardiosource.com/library/journals/journal/articl- e/abstract?acronym=AJH&uid=PIIS0895706103011154&kwhighligh= > HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The biggest estimated effect was a 40 percent reduction in the costs for treating high blood pressure. Twenty-five percent reductions in the costs for obesity and type 2 diabetes were also projected. The evidence that most of us do not get enough calcium is compelling. Many products offering reduced and nonfat, low lactose, and other varieties of dairy make this food available to all.