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The skinny on skim milk

(article, Culinate staff)

For the past few decades, the low-fat-is-good mantra has dominated dietary health advice in the U.S. The USDA has long recommended consuming low-fat or nonfat milk, and the same is true of milk requirements for national school-lunch programs. 

Now comes word, though, of a recent scientific study debunking the conventional wisdom. The study — reported in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood — found an association between the consumption of skim and low-fat milk and the development of obesity in preschoolers:

bq. The findings challenge a recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Heart Association (AHA) that all children drink low-fat or skimmed milk after age 2 to reduce their saturated fat intake and avoid excess weight gain.

The idea that skim milk may not be so beneficial isn't new. What is_ new, however, is the idea that it might be somehow harmful:

bq. DeBoer says when they broke down the data into the different types of milk with increasing fat content, the findings were even more striking. As BMI scores went up among the kids, the amount of fat in the milk they were drinking went down. “So the ones drinking skim were by far the heaviest, and those drinking whole milk were the lightest,” he says.

It's complicated, of course. But the old adage that "skim milk is good for you" may just have died.