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Dairy Myth Busting: Being Big and Tall Doesn't Make You Healthier Or More Athletic

From Dotsie Bausch & Tiffany Bruno, Switch4Good
July 2022

Cow milk's sole purpose is to increase weight and promote growth in tissues throughout the mammalian body. Its great stuff if you are a baby calf, but if you are a human trying to create a lean, healthy body, it does not do a body good.

Switch4Good

Recently, we sent a direct reply to the editor of Sports Illustrated and the author of a recent article titled, "Whos Still Got Milk?" which was part of their Strength Issue.

Essentially, the article aims to reinforce the myth that parents have been telling their children for decades in American life: Milk will make you grow big and strong. They even reference a study published last year in The New England Journal of Medicine that found evidence that milk consumption in childhood does promote greater height.

Of course, we had to take this opportunity to myth-bust this article and provide evidence in our reply to SI that being bigger and taller does NOT make you healthier or more athletic. For example, a study sponsored by the American Institute of Cancer Research concluded that taller height was strongly and consistently related to increased cancer risk. Shocking, right?

Switch4Good Response:

When did being big and tall become the marker for good health and athleticism? Sure, being larger than your opponent might give you a competitive edge. Maybe your longer legs help you jump higher, or your height makes it easier to dunk a basketball. But what happens when the game ends?

The Science Behind Height

Research suggests that being taller is not correlated with better health. In fact, smaller people have better health and longevity by multiple markers. The Okinawans, touted for their health and large proportion of centenarians, eat less, and are smaller than the mainland Japanese population. Yet, they remain active into their old age, live longer, and have lower incidences of heart disease and cancer than mainlanders.

The Okinawans are not an outlier. Other countries and ethnicities show similar trends, as indicated by studies on populations in Sardinia, Spain, and Sweden, among others.

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Please read the ENTIRE Switch4Good RESPONSE HERE.


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We began this archive as a means of assisting our visitors in answering many of their health and diet questions, and in encouraging them to take a pro-active part in their own health. We believe the articles and information contained herein are true, but are not presenting them as advice. We, personally, have found that a whole food vegan diet has helped our own health, and simply wish to share with others the things we have found. Each of us must make our own decisions, for it's our own body. If you have a health problem, see your own physician.