The Consumer Education Project of Milk SA

The Role of Dairy Consumption in Weight Management

The role of dairy consumption in weight management

The high prevalence of overweight and obesity has become a major public health concern worldwide owing to its association with chronic lifestyle diseases such as hypertension, heart disease and diabetes. It follows that interventions to curb overweight will have a positive overall effect on population-wide health. Although dietary calcium intake has been postulated to have a beneficial role in weight management, studies have yielded conflicting results. The review describes possible reasons for this and summarises findings from a number of well-controlled large-scale studies aimed at elucidating the association between dairy-based calcium intake and weight management. Results suggest that increased dairy-based calcium intake supports weight loss and subsequent management when coupled with reduced energy intake in overweight individuals. Possible mechanisms of action relate to dairy’s role in fat metabolism and inducing early satiety. Current consensus is that regular dairy intake can contribute positively to reducing body fat and maintaining a healthy body weight.

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