FENS 2015 Berlin

Yogurt consumption benefits, widely discussed at FENS 2015


According to recent research, yogurt consumption is an indicator of an overall healthy diet and lifestyle. Frequent yogurt consumers have a better diet quality, a healthy body weight, a better appetite control, are less likely to smoke and exercise more, which may reduce the risk of developing diabetes. These findings were presented during the YINI symposium, entitled “Yogurt consumption benefits: global findings & perspectives”, on October 22nd at the FENS Conference, Berlin.

With the increasing economic burden of obesity and related non-communicable diseases, the impact of food choices on weight management have taken centre stage. At the 12th European Nutrition Conference, international experts discussed how our liking for specific foods can be managed in the context of our diet and health. The Yogurt in Nutrition, Initiative for a Balanced Diet held a scientific symposium, chaired by Prof. Raanan Shamir (Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel) and Prof. Andrew Prentice (MRC International Nutrition Group, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK). The guest speakers reviewed the latest research on the role of yogurt in the nutritional quality of the diet, in maintaining a healthy body weight and reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, highlighting key differences between frequent yogurt consumers and non-or low-consumers.

Yogurt consumption may improve diet quality

As yogurt is considered to be part of a healthy diet, Prof. Angelo Tremblay (Department of Kinesiology, Laval University, Canada) evaluated the results of observational cohorts, conducted in North America, South America and Europe, which assessed the diet and health status of consumers. He concluded that yogurt consumption is associated with a healthy eating pattern and lifestyle:

Why choose yogurt for a healthy weight?

Dr. Richard Atkinson (Department of Pathology, Virginia Commonwealth University, US) induced the fact that yogurt could be considered as a daily partner for healthy weight management:

    • Epidemiological studies have shown that regular yogurt consumers tend to have a lower body weight, a smaller waist, less weight gain and lower body fat over time, compared to those who eat little or no yogurt at all.
    • People, who ate at least 7 servings of yogurt weekly, showed a 20% lower risk to become overweight or obese, in comparison with low-consumption (0-2 servings/week).
    • The consumption of yogurt will not be a panacea for overweight or obesity, but the simple addition of yogurt to the daily diet may facilitate significant loss of body fat.
    • Yogurt consumption is a relatively achievable and low-cost dietary change that could thereby help in reducing the impact of obesity and improve public health.

 A lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes

Prof. Jordi Salas-Salvadó (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Rovira i Virgili University, Spain) discussed the potential role of yogurt consumption in the prevention of type 2 diabetes (T2D):

A healthier lifestyle

Can yogurt consumption impact global healthy behaviours? According to Prof. Angelo Tremblay, yogurt consumption can be considered as the “signature of healthy diet and lifestyle”. Recent studies have shown that adult yogurt consumers are 40% more likely to be physically active (two or more hours per week) and are 30% less likely to smoke than non-yogurt consumers. People who eat yogurt four or more times per week also have better knowledge of the relationship between food and health and display feeding behaviours, more compatible with body weight stability.

Let’s look back at a successful YINI symposium with this comprehensive Storify. Find out more about a Q&A with the guest speakers, live Twitter activity, highlights and important learnings.

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