Last year, Norwegians drank 12 million litres less milk than in 2016

Tine Milk, Tetra-PakTine milk.Photo: Norway Today Media

Consumption of cow’s milk has decreased by 3.8% per person. The figures are agreed by both industry and dietary experts.


Last year we drank a total of 371,419,000 litres of milk, compared to 383,420,000 litres the year before. This was a decline of 3.1% in total. The decline of 3.8% equals 2.8 litres less milk per person in 2017 than the year before.

‘The milk consumption concerns us, since milk is important, and not least as a simple source of iodine and calcium in our diet. Recent research shows that iodine intake among parts of the Norwegian population is so worryingly low that the need for action is acute. This applies especially to pregnant and nursing women,’ said Ida Berg Hauge, general manager of the Information Office for Dairy Products.

She did elaborate on why human beings are the only species on planet earth that require the milk of another species to achieve optimal health.


Following recommendations from the National Council for Nutrition, the health authorities recommend a daily intake of three servings of dairy products. At least two of these should be milk, sour milk or yogurt. This can help ensure the recommended intake of calcium and iodine in a healthy and varied diet.

‘We are pleased that the authorities take this seriously and have made the advice on dairy products even clearer. Now it’s important to get this information to everybody. It is difficult to navigate through the jungle of diets, diet tips, and dietary advice from more or less serious providers. We can’t leave the important job of nutrition to bloggers, or the unskilled’, she said.

She is supported by Vegard Lysne, who holds a master’s degree in clinical nutrition from the University of Bergen.


‘I totally agree with Berg Hauge that the intake of iodine and calcium, especially among certain parts of the population, is worrying. One can properly meet the needs from other foods, but for those who can tolerate milk and dairy products, it is a very good source of many important nutrients, and should definitely be part of a healthy and varied diet,’he emphasised, again without emphasising how so many world class athletes manage to thrive on a milk free diet.

Lysne also agreed that it is difficult for people to find good advice among the myriad of messages.

‘Professionals have a responsibility to tackle the debate, and clean up,’ said Lysne.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today