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Dairy products not linked to weight gain: Study

Dairy products are not associated with weight gain thus they can be used in weight loss programmes.

india Updated: Mar 10, 2006 12:06 IST

A new study has revealed that dairy is not associated with weight gain thus paving a way for positive approach to dairy products in weight loss programmes.

Calcium intake was not associated with weight gain in men over a 12-year period, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition1.

This research is consistent with the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans which recommend 3 servings of low-fat dairy foods each day and recognise that intake of dairy foods does not contribute to extra weight gain.

In addition to research that demonstrates dairy foods do not contribute to extra weight gain, dozens of studies provide compelling evidence that consuming 3 servings a day of milk, cheese and yogurt as part of a reduced-calorie weight loss plan may help adults achieve better results than just cutting calories with little or no dairy, according to Greg Miller, PhD, executive vice president, National Dairy Council.

The current body of evidence includes randomized clinical trials (considered the "gold standard" of science), observational, animal and cellular studies conducted by leading research institutions throughout the country. This intriguing connection also is being studied worldwide - with positive results reported in Denmark, Greece, Italy and other countries.

"The good news for the public is that you can follow the My Pyramid recommendation for 3 servings of dairy foods each day and get the nutrition benefits without concern of extra weight gain," Miller said. "If you're cutting calories to lose weight, it's important to get your 3 servings of dairy foods each day for good health and to enhance your weight loss efforts."

Though more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between dairy and weight, experts suggest this emerging role for dairy foods is another good reason for people to meet current Dietary Guidelines for Americans of 3 servings a day of low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt or cheese.