Children who drink full fat milk are less likely to end up overweight
Experts are warning that there is an epidemic happening in Western countries when it comes to childhood obesity.
A few years ago, in a bid to combat the problem, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) went out and recommended that parents serve up skimmed milk to their toddlers and children instead of the full-fat version.
However, research has now shown that this might have been counter-productive, as a recent Canadian study on 2,700 children found those given full-fat versions ended up with a significantly lower body mass index than those given semi-skimmed varieties.
As well as being slimmer, the children who took part in the study, which was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, were also found to have higher levels of vitamin D, which protects the bones and immune system.
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"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," Maguire explains.
In fact, children who drank one cup of whole milk each day had comparable vitamin D levels to those drinking nearly three times as much skimmed milk, the study found. Vitamin D, of course, it a fat soluble vitamin, so this wasn't overly surprising, according to the researchers.
"It's a double negative with low-fat milk," says Maguire.