by Marion Nestle
Nov 23 2020
Industry-funded study of the week: dairy foods and child growth
Growth and Development of Preschool Children (12–60 Months): A Review of the Effect of Dairy Intake. David C. Clark, Christopher J. Cifelli, Matthew A Pikosky. Nutrients 2020, 12(11), 3556; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12113556
Results: there is a positive association between dairy intake and linear growth. The impact of milk or dairy products on cognitive development is less clear due to a lack of evidence and is a gap in the literature that should be addressed. Regarding the impact on body weight, the majority of evidence suggests there is either no association or an inverse association between milk intake by preschool children on overweight and obesity later in life.
Funding: “The work involved for this manuscript was funded by National Dairy Council (provided to D.C.C.).”
Conflicts of interest: “C.J.C. and M.A.P. are employees of National Dairy Council.”
Comment: The Dairy Council has a vested interest in demonstrating that dairy foods promote linear growth and cognitive function in young children, but do not promote overweight or obesity. This dairy-funded literature review is remarkable for its cautious interpretation: “the absence of data from studies conducted in low- and middle-income countries is a serious gap, especially given the dual burden of undernutrition and overnutrition that is becoming prevalent in developing countries.” That’s another reason for this study: sell more dairy foods in middle- and low-income countries. China, for example, is pushing dairy products as a means to grow taller children; it does so despite widespread lactose intolerance among the Chinese population.