Experts advise children to give high-fat milk instead of low-fat milk
Does it make a difference for the body mass index (BMI) whether children drink high-fat whole milk or low-fat milk? Researchers found that consuming high-fat milk leads to thinner children. This is mainly because these children eat fewer snacks and less unhealthy snacks.
A team of Canadian scientists found in an investigation that consuming high-fat milk leads to a healthier BMI in children compared to children who consumed low-fat skimmed milk. The doctors published the results of their study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
High-fat milk consumers eat fewer sweets and unhealthy snacks
In general, one could assume that consuming milk with a lower fat content leads to a healthier BMI. However, this seems to be a misconception. When children eat whole whole milk, they eat fewer sweets and other unhealthy snacks, the authors say.
High-fat milk contains more vitamin D.
In addition, consuming one cup of whole milk a day leads to a higher vitamin D level. Because vitamin D is more soluble in milk than in water, the higher fat content in whole milk means that this product also contains more vitamin D, the scientists explain. Low levels of vitamin D are linked to a weakened immune system, emotional ups and downs, depression, anxiety and weak bones.
Choosing milk can make all the difference
When children drink whole milk with a fat content of 3.25 percent, they have a body mass index value that is 0.72 units lower than that of skimmed milk users with a fat content of one or two percent, they explain Scientist. This effect could make the difference between healthy weight and being overweight, adds Professor Jonathon Maguire from St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.
Current health guidelines should be questioned
The current study should not assess why increased milk fat consumption is associated with a lower body mass index. The results are designed to question current health guidelines and find out what type of milk children drink best, the Canadian experts say. The normal guidelines of the NHS recommend that people should consume low-fat milk and milk products.
High fat milk fills the children more
Children are leaner when they are saturated with high-fat milk, compared to children who drank the same amount of low-fat milk, the doctors explain. Low-fat milk can actually make children eat more calories, explains Prof. Maguire. In addition, the consumption of high-fat milk in many cases means that children are likely to eat fewer snacks and other unhealthy and high-calorie foods, the researchers suspect.
Health effects of vitamin D deficiency and obesity
When children drink low-fat milk, they don't have less body fat. In addition, they also do not benefit from the higher vitamin D levels in whole milk, says Prof. These are two negative points for the consumption of low-fat milk. A vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of bladder cancer, according to doctors. Too much body fat is also very unhealthy and can lead to various serious illnesses due to being overweight and obese. In addition, a high BMI, for example, also seems to affect the sexual maturity of children. Another study found that a high BMI triggers early puberty.
Obesity has tripled in the past 30 years
Guidelines in the United States and Canada actually state that children should take two glasses of low-fat milk (one or two percent fat) a day. These countries want to reduce the risk of being overweight in children. Unfortunately, obesity has tripled in the past 30 years. The consumption of whole milk has halved in the same period, explains Prof. Maguire.
Physicians analyze data from 2,745 children for the examination
For the current study, the physicians examined the data of 2,745 children aged two to six years. Parents were asked about the size and weight of their children. This allowed the body mass index to be calculated. The experts also took blood samples to determine the children's vitamin D levels. The results of the study are important because we urgently need an answer to the question of which milk our children should consume, the authors say. (as)