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The Physicians Committee



PCRM Scientist Refutes Dairy-Weight Loss Claims

 patient on scaleIn its quest to boost sales, the dairy industry has taken to fortifying their ads with more and more outrageous health claims. The most recent ads, some featuring TV star Dr. Phil, seek to convince Americans that dairy products are a miracle weight-loss cure. But PCRM’s senior nutrition scientist Amy Joy Lanou, Ph.D., recently published a letter in Obesity Research showing that the body of evidence does not support the ad claims.

According to Dr. Lanou’s analysis, it is likely that calorie restriction, not dairy consumption, caused the weight loss reported in the study. The majority of scientific studies show that milk either causes weight gain or else has no effect at all.

The dairy industry’s ad campaign is based on two small-scale studies conducted by Michael Zemel, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition at the University of Tennessee. His study funding came from the dairy industry.

Dr. Lanou showed that, out of 16 randomized, controlled research trials investigating the effects of dairy products on body weight, Dr. Zemel’s were the only ones showing a dairy-weight loss effect. None of his studies report the degree to which participants actually reduced their calorie intakes, the most likely cause of any weight loss.



 

PCRM Online, April 2005

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