Go for whole milk rather than low fat
NEW Canadian research has found that children who drink whole milk are leaner than those who drink low-fat and skimmed versions.
The study, published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, also found that children who consume whole milk have higher vitamin D levels.
Carried out by a team from St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, the researchers looked at 2,745 children aged two to six years and surveyed parents on milk consumption, measured the children to calculate body mass index (BMI), and took blood samples to assess vitamin D levels.
The researchers found that children who drank whole milk had a BMI score 0.72 units lower than those who drank 1% or 2% fat milk, comparable to the difference between having a healthy weight and being overweight, said the study’s lead author Dr Jonathon Maguire.
In addition, children who drank one cup of whole milk each day had higher vitamin D levels, comparable to those who drank nearly three cups of 1% fat milk.
The team suggested that the higher vitamin D levels could be explained by the vitamin being fat soluble. As it dissolves in fat rather than water, milk with a higher fat content, therefore, contains more vitamin D.
There could be an inverse relationship between body fat and vitamin D stores, and as children’s body fat increases, their vitamin D levels decrease.
Although the research didn’t look at why there was a link between whole milk and lower BMI scores, Maguire suggested that because of its higher fat content, children who drank whole milk felt fuller than those who drank the same amount of low-fat or skim milk.
Children who don’t feel full could be more likely to snack on other foods, which possibly are less healthy or higher in calories and, in the end, consume more calories overall than those who drink whole milk. – AFP-Relaxnews