NEW YORK -- Americans are not getting enough calcium in their diets, and cheese is one solution to that problem, according to a public relations program the National Cheese Institute, Washington, has just launched.
The program, "Cheese: The Menu Star," is designed to show how cheese is a healthy, calcium-rich food despite its high fat content. The program stems in part from the new federally mandated nutrition labels that require fat content to be spelled out on packaged food products.
The institute has developed a free consumer brochure with cheese recipes and information on the necessary calcium requirements for a healthy diet. The brochure is scheduled to be released later this month.
Dietitian Edith Hogan, who spoke at a press event at a restaurant here to launch the program, said that cheese can be worked into any diet to supply not only calcium but phosphorus and protein. Hogan referred to a June report by the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md., that said millions of Americans are not getting enough calcium in their diets. The report, part of a consensus development conference, also suggested an increase in the optimal calcium intake for children, adolescents and elderly men. The cheese institute suggests that cheese-based foods can boost calcium intake for sometimes-finicky kids.