3-A-DAY RESPONDS

Retailers have seen an increasing demand from consumers for nutrition information. As such, they play a vital role in the nutritional health of America ["3-A-Day Protest Reaches Retailers," Feb. 24, 2003, Page 41].r Stronger Bones" campaign -- one that is designed to provide actionable nutrition messages. Our supporters include the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians,

Retailers have seen an increasing demand from consumers for nutrition information. As such, they play a vital role in the nutritional health of America ["3-A-Day Protest Reaches Retailers," Feb. 24, 2003, Page 41].

r Stronger Bones" campaign -- one that is designed to provide actionable nutrition messages. Our supporters include the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Dietetic Association and the National Medical Association, which represent tens of thousands of health professionals who understand the problems associated with the under-consumption of calcium. Food manufacturers are strong supporters as well: the 3-A-Day of Dairy logo will appear on more than 1 billion qualified milk, cheese and yogurt products.

Similar 3-A-Day of Dairy efforts are under way internationally: Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, France and Finland all recommend three servings a day of dairy foods in recognition of the urgent need to address the calcium crisis.

3-A-Day of Dairy was designed in response to customers' needs for simple, actionable information that helps them feed their families nutritious and well-balanced meals. With 75% of Americans not meeting their daily calcium requirements, this program helps families meet their needs and addresses a critical and costly public health issue.

As we have for 87 years, the National Dairy Council will continue to ensure consistency with current dietary guidelines including:

3-A-Day of Dairy recipes follow guidelines limiting total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol.

3-A-Day of Dairy's ads reference the many low-fat and fat-free varieties of dairy products available in the marketplace.

Our Web site, www.3aday.org, clearly provides low-fat and fat-free counsel, expertise and great-tasting recipes.

3-A-Day of Dairy patient education materials, in development with our health professional partners, will profile low-fat and fat-free options in addition to information about other calcium sources.

Retailers, food manufacturers and health professionals alike understand that consumers want to be able to choose from a range of healthy, good-tasting options. With the continued support of retailers, 3-A-Day of Dairy will improve the health of Americans because together, we offer nutritious foods that consumers love.

The retail community should know that the American Dairy Association/National Dairy Council has made repeated attempts (dating back to two years ago!) to work cooperatively with the 5 A Day for Better Health campaign. Unfortunately, they have refused and are trying to engage us in a negative public relations "food fight" that is frankly a shameful waste of time and energies. Nevertheless, we hold out hope that a constructive, productive partnership with the produce industry is in our futures.

3-A-Day of Dairy, here in the United States and internationally, is here for the long haul.

Gregory D. Miller

Senior Vice President, Nutrition and Scientific Affairs

National Dairy Council

Rosemont, Ill.

Kevin Burkum

Senior Vice President, Retail Marketing

American Dairy Association/National Dairy Council

Rosemont, Ill.