Children who drink full-fat milk are slimmer than those raised on skimmed milk, study finds
In an attempt to make sure our kids eat healthily, many of us are serving them (and ourselves) skim or low-fat milk, almost by default assuming that this is a better choice than the more calorific full-fat variety.
However, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, children who drink full-fat milk actually weigh less than those who drank semi-skimmed milk.
2,745 children between the ages of two and six took part in the study, and researchers at the University of Toronto suggested the result is because full-fat milk leaves children feeling more full, and makes them less likely to snack on unhealthy foods.
Study participants who drank whole milk with a fat content of 3.25 per cent had a body mass index score 0.72 units lower than those who drank semi-skimmed milk with a fat content between one and two per cent.
This, the researchers say, could mean the difference between being a healthy weight and being overweight.
As well as this, children who were given full-fat milk to drink were also found to have higher levels of vitamin D. This may be because vitamin D is soluble in fat, which there is less of in semi-skimmed milk.
This is what Jonathan Maguire, lead author of the study, had to say:
"‘Children who drink lower fat milk don’t have less body fat, and they also don’t benefit from the higher vitamin D levels in whole milk. It’s a double negative with low-fat milk."