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Dairy Products Helps Control Weight in Kids
Posted: Monday, November 17, 2003
Study shows dairy products for children keep weight down. Only 30 percent of children get the minimum recommended amount of dairy products.
The study looked at the eating habits of 99 children in Framingham, Mass., tracked for years in a study of their parents. In the study it was found that milk, cheese, even a little ice cream are not as fattening for children as parents think and may help prevent obesity in the teen years, a new study says.
Children who consumed the least amount of dairy products from ages 3 to 9 gained 7 percent more weight and scored 12 percent higher on measures of body fat by age 13 than did those who ate the most dairy foods.
"There's a myth that consuming fat from dairy products makes you fat. Lots of people believe that. Lots of doctors believe that. It's not completely true," said Lynn Moore, a Boston University researcher who spoke to a meeting of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity.
Other studies showed that a high-fat diet in childhood, which is becoming more common, may lead to diabetes later in life -- especially among blacks -- and that children spend very little time in moderate or strenuous exercise.
Sedentary lifestyles and worsening diets laden with fast food have led to one in six children now being obese, triple the number 20 years ago. They are at high risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and other chronic illnesses.
Why dairy products appear to help control weight is not clear, Moore said. They may crowd out sodas, sugary drinks and other snacks. The calcium and other nutrients in dairy appear to boost the metabolism, other studies show.
Only 30 percent of children get the minimum recommended amount of dairy products, two servings a day, as parents look for ways to cut children's calories, Moore said. The fat in whole milk products can contribute to weight gain, she said, but not when consumed in moderation. Reduced-fat or skim milk likely would supply all the benefits without the calories.
Another study of 142 Alabama children found that those eating high-fat diets showed weaker ability to process insulin -- an early indicator of diabetes -- than did those with lower-fat diets. The effect was stronger among black children, for unclear reasons, said Marc Weigensberg, the study's lead author.
Source: Diabetes In Control.com
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