Children Who Drink Whole Milk May Have Lower Risk of Being Overweight or Obese

January 13th 2020
Jill Murphy, Assistant Editor
Jill Murphy, Assistant Editor

Twenty-eight studies were analyzed from 7 countries that explored the relationship between children drinking cow’s milk and the risk of being overweight or obese.

Children who drank whole milk had 40% lower odds of being overweight or obese compared with children who consumed reduced-fat milk, according to an analysis led by St. Michael’s Hospital of Unity Health Toronto.

Twenty-eight studies were analyzed from 7 countries that explored the relationship between children drinking cow’s milk and the risk of being overweight or obese. Although 21000 children between the ages of 1 and 18 years were evaluated, none of the studies showed that any of the kids who drank reduced-fat milk had a lower risk of being overweight or obese. Out of the 28 studies, 18 of them suggested children who drank whole milk were less likely to be overweight or obese.

Dr. Jonathon Maguire, lead author of the review and a pediatrician at St. Michael’s Hospital, aims to establish the cause and effect of whole milk and lower risk of obesity in a randomized controlled trial.

“All of the studies we examined were observational studies, meaning that we cannot be sure if whole milk caused the lower risk of overweight or obesity,” Maguire said. “Whole milk may have been related to other factors which lowered the risk of overweight or obesity.”

REFERENCE

Stranges, Jennifer. Study: children who drank whole milk had lower risk of being overweight or obese compared to kids who drank reduced-fat milk. http://stmichaelshospital.com/media/detail.php?source=hospital_news/2019/1230. Published December 30, 2019. Accessed January 2, 2020.

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