Today's media reports on the National Osteoporosis Society's survey that showed a fifth of young people are avoiding or cutting out dairy have been exaggerated, and misrepresented the issue.
Many articles in the media made it sound like cow's milk is the only source of calcium, but we were keen to point out the many easily available vegan alternatives.
The National Osteoporosis Society contacted us wanting to set the record straight, and offered to feature a quote from us about vegan sources of calcium on their website.
We have issued a response which you can read below and sent it out to various media outlets.
Dominika Piasecka, spokesperson for The Vegan Society, said: “A survey by the National Osteoporosis Society found that a fifth of people under 25 are avoiding or reducing their intake of dairy products.
“The charity has informed us that some media reports exaggerate the findings, making it sound like dairy is the only source of calcium and failing to note the alternative sources that can be easily obtained on a vegan diet, such as calcium-fortified plant milk and soya yoghurt, and calcium-set tofu. Other sources include kale, pak choi, okra, spring greens, dried figs, chia seeds and almonds.
“Damage to the environment and animal welfare concerns are likely to lead people to make the decision to avoid dairy products. We encourage those curious about vegan diets to visit The Vegan Society’s website which has extensive information and research on all aspects of plant-based nutrition.
“Since The Vegan Society was founded over 70 years ago, millions of people around the world have been following a vegan diet and enjoying its health benefits.
“Any diet, vegan or non-vegan, could be lacking in nutrients if they are not adequately planned. It is the position of the British Dietetic Association, the largest association of food and nutrition professionals in the UK, that ‘well-planned plant-based, vegan-friendly diets can be devised to support healthy living at every age and life-stage’.
“Many sportspeople have started eating a vegan diet because of its health benefits, such as Jermain Defoe who eats plant-based to extend his career into his late 30s, which coincides with his reintroduction into the England football team.
“Anyone interested in becoming vegan can take our 30-Day Vegan Pledge at www.vegansociety.com/pledge.”