Children Who Drink Whole Milk Less Likely To Have Weight Problems, Study Shows

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  • Children who drink whole milk are 40 percent less likely to have weight problems
  • Researchers found that children who followed the current health recommendations were not leaner compared with those who consumed whole milk
  • Studies show that drinking whole milk is also good for adults who want to manage their weight

Current health guidelines recommend that children consume reduced-fat cows milk instead of whole milk from age 2 to reduce their risk of weight problems.

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Findings of a new study, however, challenge this idea. Researchers found that children who drank whole milk had 40 percent reduced odds of having weight problems compared with kids who drank reduced-fat milk.

In the new study, researchers conducted a review and meta-analysis of 28 studies from seven countries that explored the link between drinking cow’s milk and children’s risk of becoming overweight or obese.

None of the studies, which involved nearly 21,000 kids between the ages of 1 and 18 years old, showed that children who drank reduced-fat milk had lower risk of having weight problems.

Meanwhile, 18 of the studies showed that kids who drank whole milk were less likely to be overweight or obese.

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Study researcher Jonathon Maguire, a pediatrician at St. Michael’s Hospital in Canada, and colleagues noted that, in their review, the children who followed the current health recommendations were not leaner compared with their peers who consumed whole milk.

“Observational research suggests that higher cow-milk fat intake is associated with lower childhood adiposity,” Maguire and colleagues wrote in their study, which was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on Dec. 18.

The researchers added that the international guidelines that recommend reduced-fat milk for children may not help in lowering risk of childhood obesity.

Earlier studies also show that drinking whole milk is also good for adults who want to manage their weight. In one study that involved 20,000 women, researchers found that those who consumed more than one serving of whole milk daily over a period of nine years were 15 percent less likely to gain weight compared with their counterparts who drank low-fat milk or no milk at all.