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Views and opinions: Study is good news for full-fat milk cheerleader crowd


Have you heard the good news about the study of more than 2,700 children from 1-6 years old who drank whole cow’s milk? How they tend to be leaner and have higher vitamin D levels than those who consume low-fat or skim milk?

Every parent from pillar to post should know about this new study that says kids who consumed whole fat milk were roughly three times less likely to be overweight or obese, and two times less likely to have a vitamin D deficiency compared with children who were given 1 percent milk.

In the study published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers in Toronto, Canada, gathered data on 2,745 children who attended nine family medicine/pediatric clinics between September 2008-August 2014. The clinics are associated with the research group TARGet Kids!, a collaboration between doctors and scientists at St. Michael’s Hospital and the Hospital for Sick Children of Toronto.

One of the reasons for these results may be that children who drank a glass of whole milk may feel more satiated and therefore are less likely to eat a bunch of junk food, than kids who drank the same amount of milk with a lower fat content.

Vitamin D levels were also elevated in the full-fat-consuming group. According to the study, because vitamin D is fat-soluble, milk with a higher fat content may contain more vitamin D, so more of the so-called “sunshine vitamin” would be absorbed into the child’s bloodstream.

I know that in the United States our public schools are still only able to provide lowfat milk choices. And because of that, many kids grow up never tasting whole milk and when they do, they really don’t like it because they aren’t used to it.

So, maybe we need to ease the kids into whole milk and create a social media campaign called #FullFatFridays wherein the schools serve whole milk on Fridays, so the kids can get used to it?

Who remembers “Think Thick on Thursdays” from the 1980s, when Dominos Pizza had a Thursday night special that was absolutely the best pizza you could ever imagine for $8, that had extra thick crust, extra toppings and extra cheese? We could steal that and use it to promote full-fat milk on Thursdays in schools and call it #ThinkThickOnThursdays

I know that all of this may sound silly, but brainstorming and compromising may be what we need in order to bring full-fat choices back into our schools, and therefore increase consumption of our products. Who wouldn’t love a slice of pizza smothered in mozzarella topped off with a cold, thick carton of full-fat chocolate milk?

Regardless of my bad brainstorming, the research is welcome news, and this industry could use as much of that as possible!


The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of Farm World. Readers with questions or comments for Melissa Hart may write to her in care of this publication.