New research from the Food Standards Agency -- the U.K. equivalent of our own Food and Drug Administration -- indicates children who drink full-fat milk grow up slimmer than their peers raised drinking semi-skimmed milk.
As The Telegraph reports, Canadian research on more than 2,700 children found those given full-fat milk ended up years later with much lower BMIs than those given skimmed milk, contrary to years of FSA recommendations that young children switch to semi-skimmed milk to help limit fat consumption and curb obesity.
Those children who drank whole milk had a BMI score 0.72 units lower than those who drank 1-percent or 2-percent skimmed milk.
Those who drank full-fat milk also had higher levels of vitamin D. Children who drank one cup of whole-fat milk each day had vitamin D levels comparable to those who drank three times as much skimmed milk, the study found.
Why? It seems children who drank full-fat milk fuller, making them much less likely to fill up on high-calorie or fatty snacks.
"Children who drink lower fat milk don't have less body fat, and they also don't benefit from the higher vitamin D levels in whole milk. It's a double negative with low fat milk," said lead researcher Dr. Jonathon Maguire, a pediatrician with St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, in the report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The study contradicts leading opinion on drinking skim milk, as old advice suggested that toddlers age 2 and above should be switched to semi-skinned milk to prevent obesity later in life. That is, however, no longer the case.