National Hispanic Medical Association, National Dairy Council Partnership Aims to Enhance the Health of U.S. Hispanics

3-A-Day of Dairy Nutrition Program to Educate Hispanics Through Partnership With 35,000 Hispanic Physicians

ROSEMONT, IL--(Marketwire - October 31, 2007) - The National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) and the National Dairy Council (NDC) today announced a partnership to improve the health of the nation's Hispanic population through an education campaign that reinforces the nutrient package of low-fat and fat-free dairy products.

NHMA joins the list of health professional organizations that support NDC's 3-A-Day of Dairy program, a nutrition-based education and marketing effort to increase awareness of the health benefits of dairy foods and encourage three daily servings of low-fat and fat-free dairy, as recommended in the 2005 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

While Hispanics who come to the U.S. from other countries are often great consumers of dairy when they first arrive, according to recent research by Dairy Management, Inc., the management organization for National Dairy Council, research shows that as they become integrated into the U.S. culture and have U.S.-born children, their dairy consumption decreases, particularly milk. "This is a troubling trend that needs to be reversed," said Ann Marie Krautheim, senior vice president of Nutrition Affairs for the National Dairy Council. "Our partnership with NHMA will help us better educate Hispanics, both those who've recently arrived and those who've lived in the United States for generations, on the need for three daily servings of low-fat and fat-free dairy."

Dr. Elena Rios, president and CEO of National Hispanic Medical Association agrees that the trend is disturbing. "Good nutrition is paramount to good health," she said. "Because our physicians are on the frontlines every day, this partnership will help us step up our efforts to educate patients and their families about the need for three daily servings of dairy. This will improve the overall quality of their diets and help reduce the risk of diseases specifically prevalent in the Hispanic population, such as hypertension and metabolic syndrome."

Improving the health of Hispanics and other underserved populations -- the mission of the NHMA and its potential 36,000 member physicians -- is in alignment with the National Dairy Council efforts to improve the health of all Americans. In fact, since 1915 the National Dairy Council has conducted nutrition education and nutrition research to help health professionals and consumers better understand the role that dairy plays in the human diet.

The partnership complements an industry-wide effort to better understand the needs of U.S. Hispanics and explore opportunities to bring culturally relevant dairy products to market, a key to ensuring that Hispanics have access to the dairy products they want so that they can meet their three daily servings of dairy. NHMA will help NDC better understand the specific nutrition and cultural needs of the Hispanic community.

As a partner, a NHMA representative will join the 3-A-Day of Dairy Advisory Panel, which includes nationally renowned medical experts. The panel provides scientific guidance and direction for the campaign and puts research findings into context so it is useful for the public. The advisory panel also provides crucial input into health professional communications and education programs, which follow NDC's Guiding Principles for Nutrition Science and Health Communications, ensuring scientific integrity, transparency, leadership and excellence.

The two organizations will also partner on projects that relate specifically to the Hispanic population, such as exploring the incidence of lactose intolerance in the Hispanic population and the ways in which dairy can be incorporated into the diet, even in those diets of children and adults considered lactose intolerant. A similar report related to the general pediatric population was published by the American Academy of Pediatrics in its journal Pediatrics in January 2006.

NHMA joins other 3-A-Day of Dairy partners, including American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Dietetic Association and the National Medical Association.

As a leader in nutrition research since 1915, the National Dairy Council is dedicated to providing timely, scientifically sound nutrition information on the health benefits of milk, cheese and yogurt.

Established in 1994 in Washington, DC, the National Hispanic Medical Association is a non-profit association representing 36,000 licensed Hispanic physicians in the United States. The mission of the organization is to improve the health of Hispanics and other underserved populations. As a rapidly growing national resource based in the nation's capital, NHMA provides policymakers and health care providers with expert information and support in strengthening health service delivery to Hispanic communities across the nation.