Why Athletes Should Drink Their Milk

An article from Hoard’s Dairyman:

by Abby Bauer, Associate Editor

It appears some current NBA players should have listened to their mothers when they were children and drank their milk.

While injuries are almost to be expected in the life of a professional athlete, a few recent incidences of broken legs in NBA basketball players (Indiana Pacers’ Paul George and Lakers’ rookie Julius Randle are two examples) have generated some concern.

Cate Shanahan, director of the Lakers PRO Nutrition Program, has said that she believes these broken bone injuries have less to do with random coincidence and more to do with a lack of dairy in the diet.

In an ESPN blog, Shanahan was quoted as saying, “From my perspective, there’s an epidemic of bone health problems in pro sports because guys are drinking soda instead of milk. They’re just not getting enough calcium.”

According to her calculations, some players are only getting 25 to 30 percent of the recommended daily calcium intake. She stated that one key issue is the stigma surrounding dairy products and the fat they add to the diet.

To try to overcome those perceptions and encourage people to choose dairy, some dairy companies are stirring up their advertising. For example, Dannon recently shelved spokesperson John Stamos, most well known for his role of Uncle Jesse on Full House, for Carolina Panthers Quarterback Cam Newton.

Newton will be the face representing their new NFL-branded Greek yogurt product called Oikos Triple Zero. Dannon felt Newton would appeal more to men in the audience and help bring more males to Greek yogurt, a category historically dominated by female consumers. These advertisements will be part of a large media campaign, including outlets such as ESPN channels and Men’s Health magazine, in attempt to bring sports enthusiasts and future potential athletes to the dairy aisle on a more regular basis.

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