Got milk? For weight loss, don’t bother


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Posing for a ‘Got Milk?’ ad wearing a milk mustache has become a symbol of stardom. Brooke Shields is the latest ‘Got Milk’ cover girl, following Glenn Close, Mariska Hargitay and Laila Ali. But some nutritionists are warning consumers they won’t achieve a Brooke Shields-like body by consuming dairy products.

In a lengthy review published Thursday in the journal Nutrition Reviews, researchers concluded that consuming calcium or dairy products does not help people lose weight or maintain their current weight. Of the 49 studies analyzed, they said, two showed dairy consumption was linked with weight gain and 41 showed no effect. The only studies that show dairy consumption contributes to weight loss were funded by the dairy industry, they said.


Last year, the Federal Trade Commission forced two national dairy organizations to stop claiming that dairy consumption can cause weight loss. Now the ‘Got Milk’ ads state:

‘Studies suggest the nutrients in three glasses of lowfat or fat free milk a day can help maintain a healthy weight.’

Consumers would do well not to be swayed by a milk mustache on a pretty face. On the other hand, the lead author of the current paper in Nutrition Reviews, Dr. Amy Joy Lanou, is a senior nutrition scientist with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. That group is vehemently anti-dairy and believes that dairy products are not needed in the diet at all.

If we can find someone who is unbiased on this, we’ll get back to you.

--Shari Roan