More Swedes are choosing veggies over milk
Milk is losing favor, but it isn’t the first time. Although the Swedish Dairy Association is now suing the Swedish oat drink company, Oatly, for allegedly misleading consumers and marketing milk as “unmodern,” milk has never been able to credit its own inherent health benefits for its popularity. Historically, milk was given only to infants and invalids. Other milk was produced for cheese and butter, to store as protein for the winter months. It wasn't until the late 1800s that its nutritional benefits were discovered. Farmers, politicians and scientists began working toward the same goal: to get Swedes to drink more milk. “This milk drinking in large quantities is a rather late phenomenon,” says Håkan Jönsson, a researcher at Lund University, who wrote a treatise on the importance of milk in Swedish society. The trend persisted about 100 years, until the early 1980s, when more food studies revealed hormone concerns and issues that caused sales to decline. They’ve been declining ever since, and today dairy farmers deal with a population that is willing to pay significantly more for bottled tap water than cow's milk and options that include vegetable milk drinks.

ABBA still making people happy
In a survey commissioned by the BBC, 90 percent of the 1,000 young people surveyed said that music can make them feel better when they are down. And what music makes the most people the happiest? Two of the three top songs can be considered classics: Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen and Dancing Queen by ABBA are the top most popular songs for positively affecting people’s moods. Happy by Pharell Williams placed third.

Vegetarian school lunches
Swedes are nearly 5 pounds heavier than they were in the late 1980s, according to statistics from the Public Health Agency. It is well known that carrying extra weight can be detrimental to health; and what is consumed during childhood has a great impact on future health. Good eating habits — that include plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes — often in combination with physical activity, reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and some cancers. Recent studies revealed more: the strong correlation between the consumption of red meat at a young age and an increased risk of developing breast cancer later in life; a nearly threefold increase in the risk of cancer in adulthood among those who ate a diet high in dairy products in childhood; and a completely plant-based diet has been shown to cause regression of coronary heart disease. Some Swedes are taking this to heart and promoting healthier school lunches for their children. Already this year, Environmental Aktuellt magazine shows that a third of Sweden’s municipalities have adopted meat-free days, or have otherwise taken steps to reduce meat consumption. And more may follow as politicians are being encouraged to let every school lunch, if not every other day, be vegetarian, served with plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.