Drinking whole-fat milk is associated with higher vitamin D levels and a lower Body Mass Index score in children, new research suggests.
Canadian researchers studied 2,700 children aged two to six years old and found that children who drank whole (3.25 per cent fat content) milk had a BMI score that was 0.72 units lower than those who drank 1 or 2 per cent milk.
Lead author Jonathon Maguire, a paediatrician at St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, says in a press release the study does not assess why consuming higher fat content milk was associated with lower BMI scores.
He hypothesises that children who drink whole milk fee fuller than those who drink the same amount of low-fat or skim milk.
“If children don’t feel full from drinking milk, they are more likely to eat other foods that are less healthy or higher in calories,” he says.
Longitudinal and interventional studies are needed to confirm these findings, the study’s abstract says.
The research is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.