Fermented dairy products, like yogurt, comprise a large food group in Russia. They are also an important daily source of dietary nutrients like protein, calcium or fat. Obesity is a rising public health issue in Russia. Data of a number of epidemiological studies and clinical trials conducted all over the world are particularly interesting in that context: they uncovered a positive effect of yogurt consumption in prevention of cardiometabolic disorders, overweight and/or obesity. Demonstrating the positive role of fermented dairy in the maintenance of body weight could be therefore an important public health message.
A cross-section survey in Russia
This study is the first ever analysis of the relationship between consumption of yogurt, fermented milk product, and propagation of overweight and/or obesity among adult population in Russia. Data from a cross-section sample survey of Russian households within the Russian monitoring of social and economic and health status of the population was used between 1994 and 2012. Researchers collected dietary intake by single 24h recalls and anthropometric measures (BMI, waist and hip circumference) for 72,400 adults (≥ 19 y.o.).
A lower obesity prevalence in women
On one hand, results showed that average daily yogurt consumption per adult grew significantly during the years of observation (from 0,9 to 8.5 g yogurt per day). On the other hand, it decreased over 40 y.o. in both gender. Women also ate more yogurt than men, but consumption is inversely correlated with the magnitude of the BMI: the consumption of yogurt in women with normal BMI values (> 18.5-25.0) was positively higher than in women who are overweight and/or obese (BMI > 25.0; or > 30.0). Researchers observed an association between yogurt intake and prevalence of obesity which also seems dependent on gender: yogurt is associated with lower obesity prevalence only in women (-42 %). Nevertheless, the authors emphasized that determination of a food product consumption association with obesity spread does not directly mean the presence of casual relations between these phenomena which need further elaboration.
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