Dairy intake, obesity, and metabolic health in children and adolescents: Knowledge and gaps

Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, USA.
Nutrition Reviews (Impact Factor: 6.08). 04/2005; 63(3):71-80. DOI: 10.1301/nr.2005.mar.000-000
Source: PubMed


There is an urgent need to identify nutrition-related risk factors for obesity and the metabolic syndrome, because the prevalence of these conditions continues to rise among children and adolescents. While some studies suggest that dairy and calcium intake may attenuate obesity and the metabolic syndrome, others do not support these findings. In addition, very little research has been done in children and adolescents, especially in minority youth, who are at the greatest risk for obesity and metabolic dysfunctions. Longitudinal studies examining the role of dairy intake in relation to changes in body composition and metabolic profiles during growth are also critically needed. Of the studies conducted thus far, part of the discrepancy in findings may be due to the uncertainty over whether the effect of dairy intake is independent of energy intake or other eating pattern variables. Further, there is no consensus on how to qualify (i.e., which foods) or quantify (i.e., which cutoffs and/or units) dairy consumption. The widespread problem of implausible dietary reporting in observational studies and the lack of compliance monitoring in intervention trials may also contribute to inconsistent findings. Given the lack of consensus on the effect of dairy, particularly in children and adolescents, more research is warranted before any recommendations can be made on dietary guidelines, policies, and interventions.

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    • "Few studies have investigated associations between dairy intake, particularly regular compared with reduced fat dairy, and cardiometabolic risk factors in adolescence. Despite adolescence being a critical period of growth and development[14], we have previously reported that intake of dairy products tends to decrease through this period[15]. This may be due in part to avoidance of regular fat dairy products. "
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    ABSTRACT: Reduced fat dairy products are generally recommended for adults and children over the age of two years. However, emerging evidence suggests that dairy fat may not have detrimental health effects. We aimed to investigate prospective associations between consumption of regular versus reduced fat dairy products and cardiometabolic risk factors from early to late adolescence. In the West Australian Raine Study, dairy intake was assessed using semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaires in 860 adolescents at 14 and 17-year follow-ups; 582 of these also had blood biochemistry at both points. Using generalized estimating equations, we examined associations with cardiometabolic risk factors. Models incorporated reduced fat and regular fat dairy together (in serves/day) and were adjusted for a range of factors including overall dietary pattern. In boys, there was a mean reduction in diastolic blood pressure of 0.66 mmHg (95% CI 0.23-1.09) per serve of reduced fat dairy and an independent, additional reduction of 0.47 mmHg (95% CI 0.04-0.90) per serve of regular fat dairy. Each additional serve of reduced fat dairy was associated with a 2% reduction in HDL-cholesterol (95% CI 0.97-0.995) and a 2% increase in total: HDL-cholesterol ratio (95% CI 1.002-1.03); these associations were not observed with regular fat products. In girls, there were no significant independent associations observed in fully adjusted models. Although regular fat dairy was associated with a slightly better cholesterol profile in boys, overall, intakes of both regular fat and reduced fat dairy products were associated with similar cardiometabolic associations in adolescents.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Nutrients
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    • "A recent review on dairy intake and obesity in children and adolescents has addressed several reasons for inconsistent findings across observational studies, i.e. the problem of implausible dietary self-reporting, the uncertainty over whether the effect of dairy intake is independent of energy intake or other eating pattern variables, and, the lack of consensus on how to qualify or quantify dairy consumption [36]. We found a positive relationship and significant linear trend between the risk of being overweight and dairy consumption using a model that took into consideration the intake of the other food groups. "
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the association between the risk of overweight and the consumption of food groups in children and adolescents. We studied 1764 healthy children and adolescents (age 6-19y) attending 16 Seventh-Day Adventist schools and 13 public schools using a 106-item non-quantitative food frequency questionnaire from the late 1980 Child-Adolescent Blood Pressure Study. Logistic regression models were used to compute the risk of overweight according to consumption of grains, nuts, vegetables, fruits, meats/fish/eggs, dairy, and, low nutrient-dense foods (LNDF). The frequency of consumption of grains, nuts, vegetables and LNDF were inversely related to the risk of being overweight and dairy increased the risk. Specifically, the odds ratio (95% CI) for children in the highest quartile or tertile of consumption compared with the lowest quartile or tertile were as follows: grains 0.59(0.41-0.83); nuts 0.60(0.43-0.85); vegetables 0.67(0.48-0.94); LNDF 0.43(0.29-0.63); and, dairy 1.36(0.97, 1.92). The regular intake of specific plant foods may prevent overweight among children and adolescents.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2011 · Nutrition Journal
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