Expert opinion Cardiovascular health EB 2014, San Diego

Interview of Prof Luis Moreno – Yogurt & Metabolic Diseases in children and adolescents –

Rising obesity rates are a major concern across the globe especially in North America, and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 40 million children under the age of five were overweight in 2011. Childhood obesity is becoming a growing epidemic, and it is one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century.

Research is showing that there is a link between yogurt consumption and waist circumference in adolescents. A recent study, presented by Luis Moreno, PhD (Spain), found that the influence of dairy foods in heart health seems to start when we’re young. Detailing the HELENA study’s results, from 9 European countries (Greece, Germany, Belgium, France, Hungary, Italy, Sweden, Austria, and Spain), corresponding to 10 European cities, Dr. Moreno showed that girls who had more milk and yogurt had lower risks of CVD.

In both boys and girls, milk and yogurt consumption was also linked with being slimmer, as shown by measurements of their waist circumference and sum of skinfolds. In addition, the Framingham Children’s Study suggests that sufficient intake of milk, fruit, and vegetables during childhood can reduce body fat during adolescence.

There is growing evidence that indicates that yogurt is not only linked with reduced weight gain, but it is also connected with a lower risk of some of our most common life-threatening diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. The obesity issue is largely preventable, and should be a priority as obese children are more likely to stay obese into adulthood.

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