Asian populations are not getting enough calcium. A series of studies is currently drawing attention to the benefits of milk and dairy products in relation to diseases that are gaining prevalence in Asia as well and do not only affect other continents: osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, etc. This study investigates the association between dairy products and calcium intake and obesity in 7173 Korean adults aged 19-64 with a relatively low intake of dairy products.
Results show that a higher frequency of dairy product intake including milk and yogurt was associated with a 37% lower incidence of obesity. Higher calcium intake from dairy products as well as total dietary calcium intake was associated with a 17% decreased incidence of obesity. The associations appeared to be stronger in women than in men.
Even though dairy product intake was much lower than that in Western countries, this data suggests that high consumption of dairy products is associated with a lower prevalence of obesity and that calcium in dairy products may be one of the components contributing to the association in Korean adults.