A new study from Harvard's Health Professionals Follow-up Study gives no support to the advertising claim that milk helps control weight. In a group of 51,529 men, aged 40-75 years, those who consumed the most calcium or dairy products at the study's onset gained the same amount ofweight as those who consumed the least of these products.
In an unadjusted analysis, men who increased their calcium or dairy intake during the study seemed to gain slightly less weight (approximately a 1 pound difference over a 12-year period). However, when the results were controlled for smoking, exercise, fruit and vegetable intake, fiber intake, and other confounders, the apparent benefit of calcium and dairy products disappeared. This suggests that other healthy lifestyle factors, rather than calcium or dairy products, are responsible for weight control.
- Rajpathak SN, Rimm EB, Rosner B, Willett WC, Hu FB. Calcium and dairy intakes in relation to long-term weight gain in US men. Am J Clin Nutr 2006;86:559-566.