The recent publication of the SUN cohort has provided new evidence concluding that high consumption of yogurt (at least 7 units a week) is associated with lower risk of becoming obese or overweight.
The scientific journal “Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases” has published the results of the study “Yogurt consumption, weight change, and risk of overweight/obesity: The SUN cohort study” in which the consumption of yogurt by 8,513 individuals was monitored for six years and eight months. None of these subjects were overweight at the start of the study but 1,860 became overweight or obese during the follow-up period.
Yogurt and healthy lifestyle
The study was led by Prof. Miguel Ángel Martínez, Head of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the University of Navarra and member of the nutrition and obesity CIBER . The participants were classified according to total consumption of yogurt (full-fat and skimmed) in five categories: less than two, two to five, five to seven, seven, and more than seven yogurts a week. All other variables related to obesity being equal, it was observed that participants in the category of largest yogurt consumption (7 or more units a week) presented significantly less risk of becoming obese or overweight.
Furthermore, the study found that the risk of obesity associated with consumption of yogurt is reduced even more among participants with high fruit consumption, concluding that consumption of yogurt can play a role in the prevention of obesity and becoming overweight and specifically when combined with a healthy overall dietary pattern.
Calcium is key
A possible biological mechanism suggested by other studies that may explain the relationship between consumption of yogurt and lower risk of gaining weight is the calcium content. The study presented in this paper proposed that calcium affects the metabolism of fats; therefore, increased ingestion of calcium, contained in dairy products, may increase the oxidation of fats.