Products which may or may not be nutritionally equivalent to whole cow's milk are being promoted as substitutes for fresh fluid milk. Physicians should be aware of these products because they can affect the health and nutritional status of their patients.
There are two distinct types of products: "filled milk" and "imitation milk." Filled milk is a combination of skim milk and vegetable oil. Imitation milk does not contain any milk products. It is a combination of water, sugar, vegetable fat, and a source of protein, such as sodium caseinate. However, the terminology used in labeling and advertising these products is variable and can be confusing. For example, in those states where labeling of filled milk and imitation milk is not regulated by law, filled milk is often labeled as "imitation milk." Other names applied to both products include "family drink," "high protein drink," "high nutrition drink," and a variety