Jump directly to the content

Drinking whole milk as a child ‘slashes risk of obesity by 40%’

KIDS that drink whole milk are less likely to pile on weight, experts have found.

Full fat milk appears to reduce the chance of being overweight or obese, Canadian scientists discovered.

 Kids that drink full fat milk are less likely to be overweight or obese, scientists have found
Kids that drink full fat milk are less likely to be overweight or obese, scientists have foundCredit: Getty - Contributor

In the UK, the NHS advises that babies are breastfed exclusively if possible up until six months, with some solids introduced at that point.

Whole cow's milk can be introduced at a year, while semi-skimmed milk can be given to toddlers aged two and above.

But, this new study, reveals sticking with blue top milk might be better for your child's health.

Full fat 'better for kids'

Experts at St Michael's Hospital of Unity Health in Toronto, Canada, found kids that continued to drink blue top milk after the age of two were 40 per cent less likely to be overweight or obese.

They reviewed 28 studies carried out in seven different countries, involving 21,000 kids aged one to 18 years old.

Dr Jonathon Maguire, lead author and paediatrician, said: "The majority of children in Canada and the US consume cow's milk on a daily basis and it is a major contributor of dietary fat for many children.

"In our review, children following the current recommendation of switching to reduced-fat milk at age two were not leaner than those consuming whole milk."

None of the studies reviewed in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that kids who drank semi-slimmed milk were less likely to be obese or overweight.

Meanwhile, 18 of the 28 studies showed those that drank full fat milk were less likely to be too fat.

Obesity increases the risk of various diseases, including heart disease and 13 types of cancer.

Dr Maguire said the next step is to try and work out why full fat milk is linked to a lower chance of being obese.

He said: "All of the studies we examined were observational studies, meaning that we cannot be sure if whole milk caused the lower risk of overweight or obesity.

"Whole milk may have been related to other factors which lowered the risk."

He said a randomised controlled trial would help establish cause and effect.