UN: Dairy potential ally in Asia nutrition challenges

Markets Associated Press

A U.N. report says Asia has halved hunger rates in the past quarter century, but because of westernized lifestyles, obesity is skyrocketing and people aren't getting enough vitamins and minerals.

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A key ally in combatting this challenge may be dairy. Though processed food is transforming the Asian diet, so too is milk, which is nutritious, cheap, and booming, with production having nearly tripled since 1990.

From Bangkok to Beijing, school milk programs are making up the mineral shortfall in diets and causing children to grow taller.

And unlike agriculture, most of the money spent on dairy is going to small farmers, making it promising for the economy as well.

But the U.N. warns that the industry has to be managed well to minimize impact on the environment.