High-fat milk better for toddlers? Study says 'yes'

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Parents may have the best intentions when it comes to keeping their growing toddlers healthy, but a new study has discovered that it's high-fat milk, not low-fat milk, that may work best at keeping toddlers from growing overweight.

“Compared to those drinking 2%/whole milk, 2- and 4-year-old children drinking 1%/skim milk had an increased adjusted odds of being overweight or obese,” researchers wrote in study, which was published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

To complete the study, researchers interviewed the parents of 10,700 children across the United States at ages 2 and 4. The results countered common assumptions that low-fat milk will keep kids at a lower weight than high-fat milk.  

Researchers instead found that 1 percent or skim milk did not “appear to restrain body weight gain” in toddlers.

Read the study here.

According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association recommends 1 percent or skim milk after the age of two to reduce the consumption of saturated fat. However, toddlers who regularly drank low- or no-fat milk were 57 percent more likely to be overweight by the age of 4.

More research is needed to pinpoint more information about the correlation between higher-fat milk and toddlers with a healthier weight. Linda Van Horne, a spokeswoman for the heart association and a dietitian at the Northwestern University Medical School, suggests that the study, though offering insight into childhood nutrition, isn’t flawless.

“We need to remember this study was not designed to test this question of the effects of milk on weight, and we’re relying on parental reports. And sometimes those are not so good, especially as the child gets older,” Van Horne told reporters.

Dr. Mark DeBoer of the University of Virginia School of Medicine, who led the research team, points that if a child spends plenty of time playing outside and eats a balanced diet that avoids juice and soda, it likely wouldn’t matter which milk she or he drinks.

Read, “Low-fat milk doesn't help toddlers' weight, study says”

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WI  |  March, 20, 2013 at 06:30 PM

The article says they interviewd 10,000 kids. How accurate are the results when you interview 2 and 4 year old kids? And of course they need more money to study this some more, in other words give me a grant for several years for me to study this! 1 or 2 million should be adequate.

March, 21, 2013 at 05:22 PM

Read more carefully, they interviewed 10,700 parents of 2-4 year olds. I really do think they should continue to study this issue. It seems that when schools and parents started serving their children low fat milk, the children began needing more snacks in between meals. Whole milk is a satisfying complete nutritious food. Kids can't seem to function without snacks at any of their extra activities.

North Land of Milk and Honey Dairy    
Trout Lake WA  |  March, 23, 2013 at 06:42 PM

Take a look at this website below. It recommends full fat , even raw milk, for the purpose of fine nutrition and paradoxically weight loss. http://www.acubalance.ca/content/low-fat-milk-makes-you-fat-%E2%80%93-full-fat-raw-milk-doesn%E2%80%99t

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