Dairy products

Obesity and over-weight are common issues that many try and battle. The solution is either through diet, supplements, vitamins, ayurvedic medicines or through workouts in the gym, morning walks etc. Who wouldn’t want to shed weight easily?

A scientific review from the journal Nutrition Reviews has revealed that people who consume dairy products with the belief that dairy products apparently end up gaining weight or show no effect with respect to body weight or body fat. The observational studies have found that a dairy product actually leads to weight gain. This was found by researchers Amy Joy Lanou of the University of North Carolina at Asheville and Neal Barnard with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, DC by assessing 49 clinical trials from 1966 to 2007 on the dilemma of loosing weight.

Out of the 49 randomized controlled studies, 2 showed weight gain and 41 showed no effect. The advertisements which display that dairy products help in losing weight are somewhere untrue. Researchers have issued a warning stating that the dairy products and other calcium food items would not help you shed weight; instead you could end up gaining weight.

Amy Joy Lanou, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Asheville and the lead author of the new paper said, “A thorough analysis of the scientific literature shows that dairy industry claims about weight loss have no factual basis”. Amy added, “Consumers who see ads featuring slim celebrities and add dairy to their diets in hopes of losing weight are likely to gain weight instead. Even children who consume low-fat milk are at risk for unhealthy weight gain”.

This study is going to directly affect multimillion-dollar dairy industry and advertising campaigns like those by Brooke Shields, Glenn Close and other celebrities.

Last year two national dairy organizations had stopped advertisements that stated that dairy products help in weight loss. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) with the Federal Trade Commission had filed a petition to these dairy organizations but now they have rather altered the strategy by rewording their advertisements. The reworded ads such as the Brooke Shields one, yet implies the message of dairy products being the route to lose weight.

“Our findings demonstrate that increasing dairy product intake does not consistently result in weight or fat loss and may actually have the opposite effect,” said the authors Amy Joy Lanou and Neal Barnard.

Through the observational studies by the research team there are various aspects which attributes the link between calcium, dairy products intake and weight loss in people like exercise, decreased soda intake, lifestyle habits, or increased fiber, fruit and vegetable intake.

The study has been published in the May 2008 issue of Nutrition Reviews.