According to recent Canadian research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, children who drank whole milk had a Body Mass Index score that was 0.72 units lower than those who drank one or two per cent semi-skimmed milk.
Lead researcher Dr Jonathon Maguire, a paediatrician at St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, said the difference amounted to the difference between having a healthy weight and being overweight. Children who drank one cup of whole milk each day had comparable vitamin D levels to those drinking nearly three times as much skimmed milk, the study found. Jonathan Maguire commented: “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.”
Although the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has recommended that toddlers switch to semi-skimmed milk from the age of two in an effort to prevent obesity, this new research suggests that this could be counter-productive. Children who drank full-fat milk were likely to end up less hungry, researchers suggested, making them less likely to snack on high calorie foods.
With a number of fresh milk vending machines popping up in the news in recent months, providing milk for schools could provide an opportunity for vending.