Dairy as a food group? No.
It is so refreshing to see the importance of dairy in our diet finally being questioned in science and mainstream media. Though I am yet to see evidence based practice regarding dairy in professional dietetic environments and publications, I am beginning to have faith that the day will come.
Dairy does not deserve to be considered a vital food group; the science is simply not there. Dairy is also not what it was when there was a faithful family cow - do you really want to be drinking a mixture of milks from goodness knows how many cows who were penned in and not pasture fed (as they should be)? I don't.
This doesn't mean you shouldn't have any dairy (if you tolerate it). My advice is to look at it as a condiment, rather than a food group. A sprinkle here, a spread there, a bit of yogurt mixed into sauce etc. But don't just lap up the advice that you need three portions a day for a healthy body; it is simply not true. There is a lot more to bone health than drinking the highly processed milk from another mammal!
See here for a good insight from The New York Times: