Download PDF


    Consuming a variety of healthy foods is a key element for a nutritionally balanced diet, good health, and even survival.1 Animal products are nutrient-dense foods that are important sources of high-quality protein, including all essential amino acids, plus iron, zinc, selenium, and B vitamins, especially vitamin B12. Milk is also a significant source of calcium and vitamin D. Animal products are rich sources of readily absorbable nutrients and are important to a healthy, nutritionally balanced diet.

    Millions of people worldwide are impacted by protein-energy malnutrition. 2Further, deficiencies of iron, iodine, zinc, and vitamin A plague a large percentage of pregnant women and children.3 Including animal products in a diet makes it much more likely that all nutrient requirements are met, particularly for growing children or those on restricted diets. Diets that exclude foods of animal origin require dietary supplements to meet a person’s nutritional needs. 4,5 Meat, eggs, and dairy foods provide complementary nutrients to plant-based diets, resulting in improved nutritional status and health of global populations.

    Policy Statement:

    FASS works to improve the global health and welfare by ensuring an adequate supply of healthy, nutrient-dense foods, including foods of animal origin.

    Policy Objectives:

    • FASS supports having all the foods necessary for a balanced diet and optimal nutritional status available to all people. Nutrient density represents a major factor that is efficiently delivered through dairy, meat, and egg products.
    • FASS can provide links to educational assistance to help optimize local diets in order to achieve higher nutritional status in a given population.
    • FASS remains committed to developing new technology that will enhance sustainability while decreasing the cost of production of foods of animal origin, thereby reducing the cost to consumers.
    • FASS encourages funding for research and educational activities that focus on improving the nutritional status of all people.


    1Bhutta, Z. A., and R. A. Salam. 2012. Global nutrition epidemiology and trends. Ann. Nutr. Metab. 61(Suppl. 1):19–27.

    2Ahmed T., M. Hossain, and K. Sanin. 2012. Global burden of maternal and child undernutrition and micronutrient deficiencies. Ann. Nutr. Metab. 61(Suppl. 1):8–17.

    3Arimond, M., and M. T. Ruel. 2004. Dietary diversity is associated with child nutritiona1 status: Evidence from 11 demographic and health surveys. J. Nutr. 34:2579–2585.

    4Ross, A. C., B. H. Caballero, R. J. Cousins, K. L. Tucker, and T. R. Ziegler. 2012. Modern nutrition in health and disease: Eleventh edition. Wolters Kluwer Health Adis (ESP).

    5Elmadfa, I., and L. Singer. 2009. Vitamin B12 and homocysteine status among vegetarians: a global perspective. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 89:1693S-1698S.

    Reviewed and revised by FASS Science Policy Committee on July 23, 2019
    Adopted by the FASS Board of Directors on October 22, 2019

    For more information, please contact