Milk consumption decreases

Ahmed Alam and Saidun Nabi
Published : 04:00, Jul 21, 2019 | Updated : 04:00, Jul 21, 2019

Representational imageThe per capita milk consumption decreases significantly in Bangladesh since 2005 said a latest Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics survey report.
A recent survey – Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) of BBS also revealed that the per capita per day intake of milk is almost nine fold less than what the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends.
WHO recommends, a person should drink 250 ml or 250 grams of milk every day, to get the required amount of calcium, and protein.
In Bangladesh, per capita per day milk consumption stands at only 27.31 grams or ml, states HIES-in its 2016 survey report.
In Bangladesh, the per capita per day milk consumption was 33.7 ml in 2010, and 32.4 ml in 2005, according to the two data of HIES published in the aforementioned years.
Experts concerned
The nutrition experts shared their concerns regarding the matter, and said less consumption of milk is putting the country's nutrition scenario in jeopardy.
''This data shows that our people are not getting enough animal protein that they require every day, thus they are affected through malnutrition'', said Dhaka University Institute of Nutrition and Food Science Director Professor Dr Nazma Shaheen.
She also pointed out that the worst victims of the less milk consumption are the children.
''The meager per capita per day milk consumption shows that our children are not getting enough milk once breastfeeding stops at two years of age,” she said.
Such poor consumption of milk, which is one of the core sources of animal protein, is leading to shorter growth, low-weight, and acute malnutrition in children.
Further decrease
Expressing fear over further decrease in milk consumption in future, Nazma Shaheen said the recent row over pasteurized milk, will further discourage the consumers from consuming milk.
Separate researches, conducted by Dhaka University, and Bangladesh Food Safety Authority, found antibiotics, lead, and cadmium in milk, prompting massive outcry from different quarters.
Milk consumption in many poor and developing countries, more precisely the neighboring countries, is higher than in Bangladesh. For example it is 68.7 liters/person/year in India, in Nepal 41 liters, in Maldives 79 liters, in Pakistan 159 liters, while in Bangladesh it is only 9.9 ml or grams, as per the BBS survey report.
Global per capita milk consumption is 108 liters per year. Consumption is highest in Finland (361 liters/person/year); in Canada it is 206 liters.
HIES-2016 Project Director Dipankar Roy could not be contacted as he is abroad, however, HIES-2010, Project Director Md Zahidul Hoque Sardar said that the decrease might have been revealed as the previous editions of the national level surveys were made on comparatively smaller scale of respondents.