Study: Low-fat milk doesn't help fight childhood obesity

Studies suggests skim milk may not help kids maintain healthy weights

Published On: Mar 19 2013 03:52:29 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 19 2013 06:47:09 PM EDT
Low fat milk

A series of studies suggests that low-fat milk may not be the answer for helping kids maintain a healthy weight.

Experts do agree that milk is a valuable source of calcium and vitamin D for growing children, which helps build up young bones.

However, those who once thought skim milk was better for children, verses the extra calories in whole milk, are now rethinking the concept.

For more than seven years, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Heart Association (AHA) have both recommended that children drink a low-fat milk after age two, according to an article on healthlandtime.com.

The article sites a study published in the "Archives of Disease in Childhood", which says that scientists now believe skim milk is a poor tool to combat obesity.

Experts and parents have always believed the lighter varieties would be a better choice for obese children, but some studies found no relationship between the type of milk preschoolers drank and their body weight. One study even said that children who drink skim milk were heavier than whole milk-drinking children.

The article suggest that the added calories in whole milk may not be an important contributor to weight gain among young children. "Our original hypothesis was that children who drank high-fat milk, either whole milk or 2% would be heavier because they were consuming more saturated fat calories. We were really surprised when we looked at the data and it was very clear that within every ethnicity and every socioeconomic strata, that it was actually the opposite, that children who drank skim milk and 1% were heavier than those who drank 2% and whole," said Dr. Mark Daniel DeBoer, an associate professor of pediatric endocrinology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.

To find out more about the studies, read the full article on healthlandtime.com.