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Arch Dis Child. 2015 May;100(5):460-5. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2014-306958. Epub 2014 Dec 15.

Milk intake, height and body mass index in preschool children.

Author information

1
Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.
2
Division of Developmental Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate links between the volume of milk consumed and weight and height status in children aged 4 and 5 years.

DESIGN:

We analysed data from 8950 children followed up as part of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey, Birth cohort, a nationally representative cohort of children. We used linear and logistic regression to assess associations of daily servings of milk intake at age 4 years with z-scores of body mass index (BMI), height and weight-for-height at 4 and 5 years, adjusted for sex, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status and type of milk consumed.

RESULTS:

Among children who drank milk at age 4 years, higher milk consumption was associated with higher z-scores of BMI, height and weight-for-height at 4 years (all p<0.05). This corresponded to differences between children drinking <1 and ≥4 milk servings daily of approximately 1 cm in height and 0.15 kg in weight. By age 5 years, only the association with height remained significant (p<0.001). At 4 years, children drinking ≥3 servings of milk daily were more likely to be overweight/obese (BMI≥85th percentile) than those drinking 0.5-2 servings of milk daily (adjusted OR 1.16 (95% CI 1.02 to 1.32) p=0.02).

CONCLUSIONS:

In a cohort of children at age 4 years, the volume of milk consumed was associated with higher weight status and taller stature, while at 5 years, higher milk consumption continued to be associated with taller stature. Given higher odds of overweight/obesity with milk consumption ≥3 servings daily, this study supports current American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations that pre-school children consume two milk servings daily.

KEYWORDS:

Growth; Nutrition; Obesity

PMID:
25512962
PMCID:
PMC5596452
DOI:
10.1136/archdischild-2014-306958
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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