Research Says Children Who Drink Whole Milk Less Likely To Be Obese

A new research says that children drinking whole milk are at a lesser risk of obesity than those drinking low-fat milk.

Vipashyana Dubey
Jan 02, 2020 05:04 IST
whole milk obesity

Research presented by St. Michael’s Hospital of unity health in Toronto says that children drinking whole milk are 40 percent less likely to face obesity than the ones who have been drinking low-fat milk. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the said research, which found that higher cow-milk fat intake is associated with lower childhood adiposity (obesity).


Details of the study

The research compiled data obtained from around seven countries, that linked rising obesity in children to their habit of drinking low fat cow milk. 21,000 children from the age of one to 18 were observed. Thereafter, 18 of the total 28 findings suggested that children consuming whole milk are less likely to face obesity.

Study denounces state advised norms of milk consumption


Furthermore, the research challenges various Canadian and international advisories that promote the consumption of low-fat cow's milk. These guidelines suggest that children should start drinking reduced-fat cow's milk from the age of two for health benefits.

The majority of children in Canada and the United States consume cow's milk on a daily basis and it is a major contributor to dietary fat for many children. In our review, children following the current recommendation of switching to reduced-fat milk at age two were not leaner than those consuming whole milk. -Dr Jonathon Maguire, lead author of the review and a pediatrician at St. Michael's Hospital

Current research requires refining


The author of the review, Dr. Maguire wants to further explore the relationship between whole and low-fat milk, and obesity in controlled trials to refine the outcome of the research.

Dr Maguire told Science Daily, "All of the studies we examined were observational studies, meaning that we cannot be sure if whole milk caused the lower risk of overweight or obesity. Whole milk may have been related to other factors which lowered the risk of overweight or obesity."

Furthermore, Dr. Maguire added, "A randomized controlled trial would help to establish cause and effect but none were found in the literature."


In 2018, globally there were 149 million children under 5 year of age were stunted, 49 million wasted and 40 million overweight. - WHO report.

Hence after properly analysing the effects on adiposity, the research suggested that consumption of whole milk should be promoted. For better health of children from a young age and protection against weight problems its important that parents become careful about their feeding habits.

Direct impacts of efficient researches on health


Food habits of children can only be guided efficiently with the help of such researches. WHO deems that efforts to improve child health globally are strengthened by scientific researches and new revelations. It reports that in 2018, globally there were 149 million children under 5 year of age were stunted, 49 million wasted and 40 million overweight.

There are many diseases and health risks that need to be studied better. Problems like infant mortality, malnutrition etc, are constantly looming around the corner and due to lack of awareness, often people are not able to avail the benefits of these researches. With proper backing by governments, researches can help guide parents to select better, when it comes to what they feed their children.

Vipashyana Dubey is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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