Can yogurt reduce your chances of being overweight?
There is a wide-ranging body of scientific evidence suggesting a beneficial relationship between a regular intake of dairy foods and weight, as well as body fat (8, 9). A systematic review of 22 studies suggested that yogurt consumption is associated with lower Body Mass Index (BMI), lower body weight and weight gain, smaller waist circumference and lower body fat (10).
Six cross-sectional studies have examined the relationship between yogurt and BMI. Five found a beneficial association (yogurt consumers had a significantly lower BMI than non-consumers) in females only for two of these studies (11, 12), and in both genders for three studies (13-15), while one showed no effect of yogurt on BMI (16).
In addition, in one of these studies (13), it was found that people who ate more than three servings of yogurt a week gained about 55% less weight over a year compared to those who ate less than one serving per week. When it came to waist size, higher yogurt consumers gained 20% less than lower yogurt consumers.
A Mediterranean cohort study found that high yogurt consumption (seven or more servings per week) at baseline was associated with a 20% lower risk of overweight or obesity after 6 years. This inverse association was stronger if consumption was coupled with high fruit intake (32% risk reduction) (17).
The CARDIA study (a prospective cohort study amongst a large group of young adults) showed that total dairy intake significantly reduced the risk of overweight people becoming obese. However, there was no significant association between yogurt intake per se (18).
8. Jacques PF, Wang H. Yogurt and weight management. Am J Clin Nutr 2014; 99(5 Suppl):1229S-34S. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/99/5/1229S.full.pdf.
9. Astrup A, Chaput JP, Gilbert JA, Lorenzen JK. Dairy beverages and energy balance. Physiol Behav 2010; 100(1):67-75.
10. Eales J, Lenoir-Wijnkoop I, King S, Wood H, Kok FJ, Shamir R, Prentice A, Edwards M, Glanville J, Atkinson RL. Is consuming yoghurt associated with weight management outcomes? Results from a systematic review. International Journal of Obesity, advance online publication nov 2015. http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ijo2015202a.html
11. Gugger C, Joshi N, Albertson A. Yogurt consumption is associated with lower body weight status and improved nutrient intakes in adult women. FASEB Journal 2014; 1.
12. Joshi NA, Albertson AM, Bell E. Yogurt intake is associated with favorable nutrient intake and healthy body measures in US women: Results from NHANES 2007-08. FASEB Journal 2011; 25.
13. Wang H, Troy LM, Rogers GT, Fox CS, McKeown NM, Meigs JB, Jacques PF. Longitudinal association between dairy consumption and changes of body weight and waist circumference: the Framingham Heart Study. Int J Obes 2014; 38(2):299-305.
14. Beydoun MA, Gary TL, Caballero BH, Lawrence RS, Cheskin LJ, Wang Y. Ethnic differences in dairy and related nutrient consumption among US adults and their association with obesity, central obesity, and the metabolic syndrome. Am J Clin Nutr 2008; 87(6):1914-25.
15. Wang H, Livingston KA, Fox CS, Meigs JB, Jacques PF. Yogurt consumption is associated with better diet quality and metabolic profile in American men and women. Nutr Res 2013; 33(1):18-26.
16. Murphy KJ, Crichton GE, Dyer KA, Coates AM, Pettman TL, Milte C, et al. Dairy foods and dairy protein consumption is inversely related to markers of adiposity in obese men and women. Nutrients 2013; 5(11):4665-84.
17. Martinez-Gonzalez MA, Sayon-Orea C, Ruiz-Canela M, de la Fuente C, Gea A, Bes-Rastrollo M. Yogurt consumption, weight change and risk of overweight/obesity: The SUN cohort study. Nutrition, metabolism, and cardiovascular diseases. NMCD 2014; 24(11):1189–1196.
18. Pereira MA, Jacobs DR, Jr., Van Horn L, Slattery ML, Kartashov AI, Ludwig DS. Dairy consumption, obesity, and the insulin resistance syndrome in young adults: the CARDIA Study. JAMA 2002; 287(16):2081-9.