Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Skimmed/semi-skimmed milk does not curb excess toddler weight gain, study finds

Date:
March 18, 2013
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Switching to skimmed milk in a bid to curb excess toddler weight gain doesn't seem to work, new research indicates.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association recommend that all children drink low fat or skimmed milk after the age of 2 to reduce their saturated fat intake and ward off excess weight gain.

But the evidence to back up this stance is somewhat mixed, say the authors, who wanted to find out whether milk consumption patterns among 2 year olds affected weight gain.

Researchers asked the parents/primary caregivers of almost 11,000 children about their milk consumption -- skimmed, 1% semi-skimmed, 2% milk fat, full fat, or soy -- when the children were 2 years old and again when they were 4.

All the children were taking part in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, which is tracking the long term health of a representative sample of US children born in 2001.

Additional detail was requested when the children were 4, including how much and how often they drank not only various types of milk, but also fruit juice, squash, fizzy drinks and sports drinks, so that they could calculate the fat and sugar intake from these sources. The children were also weighed and measured at both time points.

At both time points, the prevalence of overweight/obesity was high, affecting around one in three of the children (30% of 2 year olds; 32% of 4 year olds).

The prevalence of skimmed/semi-skimmed milk consumption was also higher among the overweight/obese kids, with 14% of heavy 2 year olds and 16% of heavy 4 year olds drinking it, compared with 9% of normal weight 2 year olds and 13% of normal weight 4 year olds.

The average weight of children who drank 2%/full fat milk was also lower than that of kids who drank skimmed/semi-skimmed milk, even after accounting for other influential factors.

When the researchers looked at weight gain trends over time, they found no overall differences between those who drank skimmed/semi-skimmed milk and those who drank 2%/full fat milk.

This suggests that low fat milk confers no overall advantage, although it is possible that overweight kids might have gained more weight had they not drunk it, suggest the authors.

Nevertheless, those who regularly drank skimmed/semi-skimmed milk who were not overweight or obese at the age of 2 were 57% more likely to become so by the age of 4.

The authors point out that the higher prevalence of skimmed/semi-skimmed milk consumption among overweight/obese children might reflect a parental wish to trim these children's waistlines, as logic would suggest that lower fat intake equals fewer calories.

But they suggest that perhaps the reality is more complex. Milk fat may increase a feeling of fullness so reduce the appetite for other fatty/calorie dense foods, they say.

Rather than recommending low fat milk, it may be better to stick with other weight control options for which the evidence is sound, such as cutting down on TV watching and sugary drinks, and increasing exercise and fruit and vegetable intake, they suggest.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. R. J. Scharf, R. T. Demmer, M. D. DeBoer. Longitudinal evaluation of milk type consumed and weight status in preschoolers. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 2013; DOI: 10.1136/archdischild-2012-302941

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Skimmed/semi-skimmed milk does not curb excess toddler weight gain, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130318203416.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2013, March 18). Skimmed/semi-skimmed milk does not curb excess toddler weight gain, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130318203416.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Skimmed/semi-skimmed milk does not curb excess toddler weight gain, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130318203416.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins