Iranian dairy industry officials have announced that milk consumption in the country has fallen by 20 percent, the Fars News Agency reports.

The head of dairy syndicates, Mohammadreza Esmaili, reports that the scrapping of government subsidies has led to a price increase of 40 to 60 percent, which in turn has led to this fall in milk consumption.

Deputy health minister Alireza Mesdaghinia has urged the public not to let rising prices push milk and fruit from their diet, as that could quickly translate into malnutrition and osteoporosis.

A spokesman for chicken farmers had previously announced that egg consumption has also fallen sharply.

Food and energy prices have risen by many folds since the government eliminated subsidies for them. Inflation has also been fueled by the fall of the national currency and the international sanctions that have halved Iran’s oil revenues and put widespread restrictions on Iranian financial institutions and their ability to service international transactions for imports.