Reduced Fat Milk Contributing to Obesity ?!?

fat-free-milk-225x300One of the standard recommendations offered by health professionals to consumers is to consume 3 servings a day of low fat / non fat dairy. The USDA MyPlate recommendations show a glass of milk as part the infographic depicting what people should eat.

But what if skim milk was actually not doing anything to help our waistline? This seemingly strange conclusion has been reached by two well respected researchers – David Ludwig, of Boston’s Children Hospital, and Dr. Walter Willett, of the Harvard School of Public Health. In a recent article published in JAMA Pediatrics, the 2 experts say:

1. Very little data exists showing that skim milk helps weight loss

2. Since reduced or non fat dairy might not be as filling as the whole version, it could lead to people consuming more. As a result, overall calorie consumption may be the same or higher than the whole version.

Here are some numbers for you to contemplate:

  • A full fat glass of milk has 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 5 of them are saturated fat.
  • A glass of skim milk has 90 calories, and no fat.
  • A glass of skim chocolate milk has 160 calories, no fat, but 3-4 teaspoons worth of added sugar!

Maybe children today are drinking skim chocolate milk, whereas a generation ago kids were fine with full fat whole milk, unflavored? Overall, the calories are similar.

The scientists conclude that the recommendation for 3 servings of low fat dairy per day needs to be reconsidered.

By the way, another interesting point with respect to nonfat milk is nutrient bioavailability. The vitamins A, D, E, and K are a wonderful part of milk. But, they are fat soluble, which means they can only be absorbed by the digestive system in the presence of fat. If you drink skim milk, there won’t be any fat for these nutrients to get absorbed with.

What milk, if any, are your children drinking?

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