WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 — Award-winning actor, singer and new mom Jennifer Hudson joins the National Milk Mustache “got milk?®” Campaign to spread the word that milk is naturally nutrient-rich like no other beverage and provides a unique mix of essential nutrients that families need. In honor of Black History Month, the new ad will bring a message that’s especially important for African American families who research suggests, may be less likely to put milk on the table.
“When you serve milk, you’re doing something good for you and your family,” says 28-year-old Hudson, who is best known for her award-winning performance as “Effie” in “Dreamgirls” and her chart-topping, self-titled debut album that spawned the hit “Spotlight.” “As a new mom, I’m trying to make the best choices for my family and me, which includes making sure milk is on our table everyday.”
Hudson’s ad will reinforce the importance of milk for her family. Her message: “The taste of fame. Center stage, silver screen, joyful new mom. How do I keep this show on the road? Milk. Its wholesome goodness helps make my family strong at every stage. Talk about a powerful performance.”
New mom to son David Daniel Otunga, Jr., who was born in August 2009, Hudson wants to remind all moms that milk is one simple way to add important nutrients to your family’s diet. Milk provides a valuable combination of key vitamins and minerals, including calcium, vitamin D, potassium and magnesium, that are often lacking in American diets.
“For African American families, in particular, the gap between the recommendations and the reality for milk consumption is quite large,” said Dr. Keith Ayoob, a registered dietitian and pediatric nutrition expert. “By skipping milk, families are missing out on tremendous benefits. They could even be at increased risk for vitamin D deficiency, osteoporosis and potentially heart disease.”
Milk is the leading source of vitamin D in the American diet, yet less than seven percent of African Americans meet the three daily servings of milk recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.(1) In fact, studies show that African American women are 10 times more likely to be vitamin D deficient than Caucasian women, and new research suggests low vitamin D levels may even help explain why African Americans are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases – affecting nearly half of all African American women.(2,3,4)
The Real Story on Lactose Intolerance and African Americans
New evidence suggests that significantly fewer African Americans are lactose intolerant than previously believed. Only about 24 percent of African Americans consider themselves to be lactose intolerant, according to a report by the National Medical Association, the nation’s largest medical association representing African American physicians and their patients.(5,6)
“Not everyone with lactose intolerance has symptoms, but even for people who do, there are many ways they can still include milk in their diets,” said Ayoob. Experts suggest gradually increasing consumption of milk or milk products, drinking milk with food or opting for lactose-reduced or lactose free alternatives to help all families get the benefits of milk’s nine essential nutrients.(7)