Low-Fat Milk Does Not Prevent or Reverse Childhood Obesity

If you’re not yet familiar with the PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) you should check it out.  Sign up for their emails and you an get interesting reports, like this one:

“The choice of low-fat over whole milk does not lower obesity rates in children, according to a new study published in Archives of Disease in Childhood. Researchers examined milk consumption and body weight in 10,700 children at ages 2 and 4 as part of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B). Those children who drank 1 percent or skim milk were more likely to be overweight or obese. The American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations to choose low-fat milk as a way to manage weight appear ineffective. Although skim milk is somewhat lower in calories, compared with whole milk, it remains highly caloric, similar to soda. The authors note that milk should not be the only consideration in obesity prevention and suggest other risk factors, such as parental guidance, high-fat diets, and lack of exercise, play important roles.

Scharf RJ, Demmer RT, DeBoer MD. Longitudinal evaluation of milk type consumed and weight status in preschoolers.Arch Dis Child. 2013;0:1-6.”

There are a lot of dairy alternatives out there that are low in fat and some that are even high in protein (soy milk, or fortified  coconut and almond milks like So Delicious Almond Plus).
If its Vitamin D you’re worried about I would recommend a liquid supplement.  You’re can also try food fortified with Vitamin D3 (which is derived from sheep) or D2 (which is derived from bacteria).  There’s been a lot of debate about whether D2 is as effective as D3, but recent research has shown that it works just as well.  Also, don’t forget the sunshine!


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