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Br J Nutr. 2019 Jul 25:1-18. doi: 10.1017/S0007114519001776. [Epub ahead of print]

Associations of types of dairy consumption with adiposity: cross-sectional findings from over 12,000 adults in the Fenland Study, UK.

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MRC Epidemiology Unit,Institute of Metabolic Science, University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine,Cambridge,United Kingdom.


Evidence from randomised controlled trials supports beneficial effects of total dairy products on body weight, fat and lean mass, but evidence on associations of dairy types with distributions of body fat and lean mass is limited. We aimed to investigate associations of total and different types of dairy products with markers of adiposity, and body fat and lean mass distribution. We evaluated cross-sectional data from 12,065 adults aged 30 to 65 years recruited to the Fenland study between 2005 and 2015 in Cambridgeshire UK. Diet was assessed with a food frequency questionnaire. We estimated regression coefficients (or % differences) and their 95% CI using multiple linear regression models. The median (interquartile range) of milk, yoghurt, and cheese consumption were 293 (146 - 439), 35.3 (8.8 - 71.8), and 14.6 (4.8 - 26.9) g/d, respectively. Low-fat dairy consumption was inversely associated with visceral-to-subcutaneous fat ratio estimated with dual energy X-ray absorptiometry [-2.58% (-3.91, -1.23%) per serving/day]. Habitual consumption per serving/day (200 g) of milk was associated with 0.33 (0.19, 0.46) kg higher lean mass. Other associations were not significant after false discovery correction. Our findings suggest that the influence of milk consumption on lean mass and of low-fat dairy consumption on fat mass distribution may be potential pathways for the link between dairy consumption and metabolic risk. Our cross-sectional findings warrant further research in prospective and experimental studies in diverse populations.


DEXA Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry; IQR Interquartile range; SCAT Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue; VAT Visceral Adipose Tissue; Dairy products; adiposity; butter; cheese; milk; yoghurt


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