The cross-sectional National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 2005-2008) hypothesizes that greater use of dairy and yogurt interrelate with higher calcium and vitamin D intake and lower adiposity levels and a better diet quality.
3,786 children aged 8-18 years were given 24h-recall data interviews and then classified into dairy consumption groups of <1, 1 to <2, or 2+ dairy servings. A yogurt consumer was the one that reported having yogurt during one or two of the interviews. NHANES’ anthropometric measurements, BMI and BMI-for-age percentiles were used.
Less body fat
Yogurt consumption was associated with less body fat, as measured by subscapular skinfold thickness (11.1 vs. 12.9mm) and less obesity prevalence (27 vs. 36.2 %), as compared to non-yogurt consumers. Levels of calcium, vitamin D, protein and potassium intake also increased with yogurt consumption. The authors observed analogous results for dairy consumption, except that >2 dairy servings were associated with higher intakes of energy, nevertheless without higher body fat or weight gain. More saturated fats and calories were taken with consumption of products such as cheese, ice cream and whole milk. A more concrete analysis is required to reach a conclusion concerning these physiological mechanisms and the long-term impact of dairy products on adiposity in children.