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A recent study conducted on preschool children drew some interesting conclusions.Cute little girl drinking milk The study focused on information on the types of milk 10,700 US children drank and their body mass index (BMI) at ages 2 and 4. Researchers found that giving children low fat 1% milk did not curve obesity. Instead these children showed higher BMI rates than children who drank 2% or whole milk.  The study noted that “children drinking 1%/skim milk at both 2 and 4?years were more likely to become overweight/obese between these time points.[1] Researchers concluded that drinking 1 percent or skim milk is more common among overweight and obese preschoolers.  However, lower fat milk does not appear to slow down weight gain in the children. These findings were not affected by cultural, racial or ethnic backgrounds. [2]

The researcher’s conclusion stated the following, “Consumption of 1%/skim milk is more common among overweight/obese preschoolers, potentially reflecting the choice of parents to give overweight/obese children low-fat milk to drink. Nevertheless, 1%/skim milk does not appear to restrain body weight gain between 2 and 4?years of age in this age range, emphasizing a need for weight-targeted recommendations with a stronger evidence base.”[3]

The researchers concluded that the recommendation for young children to drink skim milk may not be an effective way to combat obesity. Children most likely need to be encouraged to have less time with video games and television and an increase in fruits and vegetables. In addition they should be encouraged to drink less sugary drinks.

[1] Scharf, Rebecca, Demmer, Ryan T., DeBoer, Mark. Longitudinal evaluation of milk type consumed and weight status in preschoolers. Arch Dis Child doi:10.1136/archdischild-2012-302941

[2] Halle, Tara, reviewed by Dr. Joseph Madia MD. Skim Milk May Not Do a Kid’s Body Better. March 18th, 2013. Daily RX. http://www.dailyrx.com/obesity-risk-preschoolers-did-not-appear-reduced-drinking-skim-milk-compared-whole-milk

[3] Ibid (Scharf)