Skimmed milk can make kids obese

Skimmed milk can make kids obese

Giving kids skimmed or one per cent fat milk could lead them to become overweight, a new study has found. US researchers found healthy-weight two-year-olds who regularly drank skimmed milk were 57 per cent more likely to be overweight or obese at four, as those who drank full-fat milk.

They asked parents of almost 11,000 two-year-olds what type of milk they gave them: skimmed, one per cent fat, two per cent fat, or full-fat. They then followed up the children two years later, The Telegraph reported. All the children were participants of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, which tracks the long term health of a representative sample of US children born in 2001.

Parents with overweight children might like to give their offspring low fat milk to help curb their waistlines, but the researchers said this logic might be misplaced.

Full-fat milk may satisfy children’s appetites better, thereby making them less likely to raid the cupboard for unhealthy snacks like biscuits and cakes, they argued.

“One per cent/ skimmed milk does not appear to restrain body weight gain between two and four years of age,” authors noted in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood.

The Department of Health in UK advocates children “gradually move to semi-skimmed milk as a main drink” from the age of two “as long as they are eating a varied and balanced diet and growing well”.

However, it warns against giving skimmed or one per cent milk as the main drink until they are at least five, because these “don’t contain enough vitamin A and skimmed milk doesn’t contain enough calories”.