A study conducted by a team of researchers at the European Association for the Study of Obesity has made them come to the conclusion that, contrary to popular belief, milk and other dairy products do not promote obesity in children. The results were announced after a comprehensive, longitudinal study that was conducted over a span of the last 27 years.
“An important finding was the consistency of findings across different types of milk and dairy products and age groups,” explained Anestis Dougkas, who led the research. “Our results should alleviate any concerns that parents may have about limiting their children’s consumption of milk and dairy products on the grounds that they might promote obesity.”
The benefits of milk and milk products are pretty well-known, especially for growing children. While an association between childhood obesity and dairy products have been dismissed after several studies and their reviews, whether milk products promote obesity in children still remained unclear. So was the limit of how much dairy children need.
Anestis Dougkas and his team analyzed data from 43 cross-sectional studies, 32 longitudinal cohort studies, and 20 randomized trials and examined the effects of full-fat milk, low-fat milk, and other dairy product intake on obesity in children between January 1990 and June 2017. They also analyzed the possible mechanisms underlying the effect of different milk and dairy products on the regulation of body weight.
This is what they concluded – “There is no harmful effect on obesity from incorporating dairy and especially milk in the diet of children and adolescents. These results call into question current recommendations that restrict consumption of milk and dairy products. The new and emerging range of products (including plant-based alternatives being used as dairy milk substitutes) has yet to be evaluated in scientific studies”.
As limitations faced by the team, the authors listed that they did not look for literature in other languages than English and did not assess the quality of the studies, among others.