All Lies: Skim Milk Doesn't Lower Obesity Risk

A new study found that children who drink skim milk are actually more at risk for obesity
Staff Writer

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Apparently, getting all those skim lattes may have not been worth it; a new study from the Archives of Disease in Childhood has found that skim and low-fat milks may not be useful when you're trying to lose weight. Shucks.

According to researchers led by Mark Daniel DeBoer, a survey of 10,7000 children found that children who drank 1 percent milk had a 57 percent chance of becoming overweight or obese by the time they were 4 years old.

Past research and common belief indicated that children who drank high-fat milk (whole milk or 2 percent) would be heavier when they grew up due to an increased intake of saturated fat calories.

"We were really surprised when we looked at the data and it was very clear that within every ethnicity and every socioeconomic strata, that it was actually the opposite, that children who drank skim milk and 1 percent were heavier than those who drank 2 percent and whole," DeBoer told TIME.

This may not mean that whole milk helps kids lose weight, however. Parents may just switch heavier children over to 1 percent or skim milk as weight-cutting measures, meaning skim milk is an effect rather than a cause of overweight. 

Furthermore, whole milk drinkers might consume less calories overall, especially from food, as whole milk may increase kids' satiety after drinking. The study was also based on parental reports and did not account for genetics, which might explain some of the differences. In the meantime, however, we're going to switch back to whole milk lattes.

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