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UVA Doctors Question Milk Fat’s Role in Childhood Weight Gain

Preventing Child Obesity: What Milk Should Children Drink?

Children who drink low-fat milk will gain less weight than those drinking whole milk, right?

Maybe not.

New research from UVA’s School of Medicine suggests that preschoolers who drink low-fat  (skim or 1 percent) milk are more likely to be overweight than children who drink 2 percent or whole milk.

The findings run counter to the current recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which recommends that children drink low-fat milk.

The UVA study looked at data from nearly 11,000 children.

“The association [between the consumption of low-fat milk and obesity] was really striking, in that it was present in every single racial ethnic group and every single social strata. So it was quite consistent,” said UVA researcher Mark D. DeBoer, MD. “And it was also [noted] at both 2 years of age and 4 years of age. The children who drank skim were the heaviest, then 1 percent, then 2 percent and then whole milk. Children who drank whole milk had the lowest weight score.”

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