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Dairy Products Build Leaner Bodies in Girls

There has been much talk about the use of calcium to spur weight loss. A new study reports girls who get enough dairy products in their diets may stay leaner than their peers.

Researchers found that among some 300 9- to 14-year-old girls in Hawaii, those who got more calcium from dairy sources tended to weigh less and have less fat around the middle than girls who ate less dairy. On the other hand, body weight tended to rise in tandem with soda intake. The link between dairy intake and lower abdominal fat was particularly strong among girls of Asian descent, who made up 47 percent of the study group.

A number of studies, mostly in adults, have shown that calcium may be key in maintaining normal body weight and fat stores. In the new study, calcium from dairy sources, but not non-dairy foods, was related to lower weight and less abdominal fat. In fact, girls in the study got relatively little of their calcium from non-dairy sources, perhaps too little for these foods to show an effect on weight and body fat.

That's no surprise because getting your calcium directly from foods like dairy products is far more healthier than supplements in the first place. However, there's a catch: The pasteurization process most producers use signifcantly diminishes, if not eliminates, most all of milk's nutritional benefits.

Yahoo News August 11, 2004

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