Young boy holding up a glass of milk like making a toast.
Young boy holding up a glass of milk like making a toast.

Milk is more than just a staple in the school lunchroom. New research from the University of Michigan shows that it also helps keep middle-school girls fit and healthy.

The study looked at more than 1,700 sixth-grade students. Some habits – such as eating school lunches and watching more than two hours of television on daily basis – were consistent for all overweight and obese children, but the genders differed in healthier habits.

While sports helped middle-school boys maintain a healthier weight, girls benefited more from drinking two servings of milk each day. One of the possible explanations, according to a university news release, is “a reduction in sugary drinks, which girls replaced with milk.”

The findings will be published in the September issue of Pediatrics.

Read, “School Lunch and TV Time Linked with Childhood Obesity.”

Other studies have come up with similar findings. Two studies – one from the University of Gothenburg and another from the University of Virginia School of Medicine – found that toddlers and children who consumed full-fat, whole milk had a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) than those who didn’t.

Milk also helps teens maintain a healthy body weight.