The British Food Standards Agency recommended that toddlers switch to semi-skimmed milk from the age of two, as part of efforts to prevent obesity.
But a new Canadian research on more than 2,700 children found that this strategy doesn’t work. Children given full-fat versions ended up slimmer and with higher levels of vitamin D than those given skimmed varieties of milk.
For decades, children in Britain were encouraged to drink full-fat milk, as part of post-war efforts to build the nation’s health. But in 2009, the FSA warned that children were now consuming so much fat that it was clogging their arteries. Parents were advised to switch their children to semi-skimmed milk from the age of two, which the new study now says is counterproductive.
The researchers conjecture that children who drank full-fat milk were probably less hungry, making them less likely to snack on high calorie foods.
Lead researcher Dr. Jonathan Maguire, a pediatrician at St Michael's Hospital in Toronto, said, “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.”