Study: Lowfat and Skim Milk Drinking Kids Are Fattest

by Sarah Activism, Healthy Pregnancy, Baby & Child, Raw Milk and Childcare, Raw Milk BenefitsComments: 131

lowfat milk

A new study published online March 18, 2013 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, a sister publication of the British Medical Journal, reports that lowfat milk is associated with higher weight in preschoolers.

You read that right.

Kids drinking lowfat milk tend to be heavier than those drinking whole milk. Skim milk drinking kids were found to be the fattest of all.

The findings call into serious question the long held recommendation of pediatricians that parents switch children to lowfat milk at age 2 in order to reduce the risk of weight problems.

It seems this misguided pediatric advice is producing the exact opposite of what was intended.

This large study of 10,700 preschoolers involved interviewing the parents when the children were 2 years old and again at 4 years old.  The researchers took direct measurements of each child’s height and weight in order to accurately calculate BMI (body mass index) at both ages.

Researchers found that the children who drank skim (1%) milk were the fattest of all regardless of of race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status.

The 2% milk drinking children had the next highest BMI (body mass index) followed by the whole milk drinking children who were the leanest of all.

Dr Mark DeBoer said in an email to NPR that he and his co-author Dr. Rebecca Scharf, both of the University of Virginia, were “quite surpised” by the findings as they had hypothesized just the opposite.

Dr. DeBoer added that the data also indicates that use of lowfat milk did not restrain weight gain in preschoolers over time.  He speculated that if you feel fuller after drinking full fat milk, “it may be protective if the other food options are high in calories.”

In other words, drinking a glass of whole milk for dinner instead of lowfat or skim milk may prevent a child from eating an extra cookie or two later.

Two Other Studies Indicate Lowfat and Skim Milk Make Kids Fatter

This is not the first study indicating that lowfat and skim milk lead to heavier children.

In 2005, a study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine concluded that skim and 1% milk were associated with weight gain in children aged 9-14, but dairy fat was not.

A more recent study in 2010 published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that switching from whole milk to reduced-fat milk at age 2 years did not appear to prevent overweight in early childhood.   

Take home lesson for parents?  Give your kids whole milk like Grandma and Grandpa did.  Taking the fat out of milk doesn’t help one iota in reducing a child’s chances of overweight and obesity.  On the other hand, giving a child whole milk appears to be protective of a healthy weight in childhood!

Learn More About Healthy Fats to Stay Slim

Want to learn more about what fats to eat and what fats to avoid to stay slim and healthy?  Check out my eBook Get Your Fats Straight – Why Skim Milk is Making You Fat and Giving You Heart Disease and Other Surprising Facts About Fats.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist


Why Skim Milk Will Make You Fat and Give You Heart Disease

Whole Milk or Skim? Study Links Fattier Milk to Slimmer Kids

Longitudinal evaluation of milk type consumed and weight status in preschoolers

Milk, dairy fat, dietary calcium, and weight gain: a longitudinal study of adolescents

Prospective association between milk intake and adiposity in preschool-aged children

Picture Credit

Comments (131)

  • Lucy

    Now the Navy will start forcing skim milk or soy milk,

    July 15th, 2015 10:31 am Reply
  • Link

    Childhood weight problems has actually greater than increased in children and tripled in teens in the past 30 years.

    September 15th, 2013 4:50 am Reply
  • Common Sense

    In other news, it was discovered that people on diets tend to be overweight.

    July 12th, 2013 1:37 pm Reply
  • neilmc

    I’ve had a bit of a chuckle at the comments regarding low fat milk not existing in nature. Sure, fine. How natural is it for human children and adults to drink the milk from a different species every day anyway 😉

    If we’re sticking to the natural way of things, sucking down food intended for baby cattle seems odd………

    July 12th, 2013 1:27 am Reply
  • Carroll

    Sorry, but this study does NOT prove that low fat milk consumption causes fat deposition. Correlation does not equal causation. It is likely a reflection that parents of heavier children tend to give them the low or no-fat products. i.e. if there is any causation it is probably in the reverse direction (Fat children come first, and low fat products are a result of this).

    June 11th, 2013 6:52 pm Reply
  • Laura Villanueva via Facebook

    I feel bad for the parents that are tight with money and can afford to buy their kids crap (I grew up this way) and/or, ignore the ills of these horrific “foods”. Something’s gotta change.

    June 8th, 2013 1:21 am Reply
  • Diana M Koski via Facebook

    Milk from the store is white water. Wish I could find reliable, GMO free raw milk around here.

    June 8th, 2013 1:19 am Reply
  • Katherine Ross-Keller via Facebook

    Cow’s milk is gross anyway.

    June 7th, 2013 10:52 pm Reply
  • Rebecca McMurray via Facebook

    In Australia skim milk specifically says on the label – not for children

    June 7th, 2013 9:10 pm Reply
  • Keith Kelley via Facebook

    Raw milk would make it even better.

    June 7th, 2013 7:32 pm Reply
  • Elisabeth Bartlett Gibson via Facebook

    Monica McKnight:

    June 7th, 2013 4:00 pm Reply
  • Kim Reynolds Sharp via Facebook

    Some of us already knew this! The American public is so easily ‘shammed’.

    June 7th, 2013 3:19 pm Reply
  • Robin Vandermause Frei via Facebook

    I wish I could say the same…

    June 7th, 2013 3:16 pm Reply
  • Monica McKnight via Facebook

    Where can I find information on which states are free-milk?

    June 7th, 2013 2:53 pm Reply
  • Karen LaBare via Facebook

    Interesting. I had to get a prescription from my daughter’s doctor to continue receiving whole milk through WIC after she turned one. She’s five now and at a perfectly healthy (though lower end of the spectrum) weight.
    Now if I could only get a prescription for raw milk!!! Unfortunately, raw milk sales are still not legal in Wisconsin.

    June 7th, 2013 2:11 pm Reply
  • Yc Estrada via Facebook

    What about coconut milk?

    June 7th, 2013 2:00 pm Reply
  • Michael FreeHawk Polani via Facebook

    I believe the only milk a child “needs” is their own mothers milk. After that, calcium and other vitamin are obtained elsewhere…Milk consumption period, is a sham…But if one MUST drink milk, it should be raw, organic, from grass fed cows and unpasteurized…

    June 7th, 2013 1:22 pm Reply
  • Dee Ann L via Facebook

    Milk creates mucus in the body- it’s not fit for human consumption!! Research how it ended up on the food pyramid :/

    June 7th, 2013 1:12 pm Reply
  • Jkln Ortz via Facebook

    anything processed is bad for kids and adults…

    June 7th, 2013 1:06 pm Reply
  • Tedra Prouty via Facebook

    raw milk is best if you choose to drink it

    June 7th, 2013 1:04 pm Reply
  • Joselyn Hoffman Schutz via Facebook

    Stacey, if you look at my reply to you about Alzheimer’s, I didn’t say one word about dairy. You stated that Dr. Barnard says fish & meat are linked with Alzheimer’s. I stated that nearly every society on the face of the planet for all of human history ate diets high in fish and/or meat, yet they had no Alzheimer’s. Nothing about dairy.

    June 7th, 2013 1:00 pm Reply
  • Jannelle Hurney via Facebook

    Once upon a time, farmers kept only the “cream” or fattier portion that rose to the top, and fed the “skim” from the bottom to the pigs to fatten them up!

    June 7th, 2013 12:59 pm Reply
  • Joselyn Hoffman Schutz via Facebook

    Almonds are a fatty nut. They are *naturally* high in omega 6’s. It is very difficult to eat many almonds at a time in nature, because you have to find them, crack them, soak & dehydrate them (or get a stomachache), then eat them. You could never eat as many as you can easily get in almond milk.

    June 7th, 2013 12:59 pm Reply
  • Isabell Norman via Facebook

    After I came to the US, and had kids, I fell into the trap “low-fat milk is better for kids”. My mom in Germany never understood why everything was low fat here, she kept arguing with me how kids need the fat, saying they need it for their brains, their growing bodies…….I thought she is just talking old school. But she was right all along!
    Her understanding all came from good German studies and her upbringing. I just didn’t understand the power of lobbyists in the US and the lies one is told to make $$$, only for profit. We are not told what to eat and not to eat in Germany, the main focus of food regulations is to keep the food supply safe from contamination and poisons. It just is different and it took me a while to figure out the US manipulation, the scare tactics they employ

    June 7th, 2013 12:55 pm Reply
  • Aunt Georgine via Facebook

    I guess they need the added fat to grow . . . but I heard mothers milk only has 1% . . . but mom’s must provide other things besides the fat content

    June 7th, 2013 12:46 pm Reply
  • Stacey D’Amico Turner via Facebook

    I’m not sure how many omega 6’s are in my homemade Almond milk made from truly raw organic almonds. I make my own and it is watered down quite a bit and only used in a morning cereal of sprouted buckwheat and fruit. Best beverage is WATER. No veg oils in my diet so I don’t think I’m OD-ing on Omega 6 with my almond milk.

    June 7th, 2013 12:39 pm Reply
  • Stacey D’Amico Turner via Facebook

    Throughout history of ALL mammals – Cow’s milk is for baby cows! No other mammal on the planet drink’s another mammal’s milk nor do they drink their own species milk beyond their infancy.

    June 7th, 2013 12:35 pm Reply
  • Debra Bernier Siniscalco via Facebook

    Drink whole milk, our body needs the fat. We don’t get fat from fat, we get fat from sugar and grains!

    June 7th, 2013 12:28 pm Reply
  • Mandy Doyle via Facebook

    Skim milk was originally pig feed before they figured out how to market it up humans. Db humans that see the words “fat free” or “low fat” and assume it is healthy!
    Whole raw milk is the healthy way to go for us :0)

    June 7th, 2013 12:25 pm Reply
  • Nikki Matchett via Facebook

    Leslee i think the reasoning behind that is because skim is higher in sugar, and theres no fat for satiation, so they crave more sugary stuff, ive seen in ring true in my own self since increasing my fat intake I hardly ever actually crave sugar, and i drink whole raw milk also btw

    June 7th, 2013 12:23 pm Reply
  • Elisabeth Bartlett Gibson via Facebook

    I am very thankful that we live in a free-milk state. We get our fresh, wholesome milk straight from a licensed dairy provider who takes the time to talk to us. No more wasting money on processed milks, for us.

    June 7th, 2013 12:22 pm Reply
  • Guisella Desouza-Blagojevic via Facebook

    It is amazing how fast people were convinced that low-fat milk is healthier for their children. 5-10 years ago all pediatricians recommended that a child should drink whole milk only because they needed the fat for proper growth. The big dairy industry has fooled everyone to make more and more profit. By selling you skim milk at the same price as whole, they make double the profit as they use that fat to make other dairy products like cheese and butter, instead of having to produce more milk fat for other products. They keep fooling everyone in the name of health. How sad…

    June 7th, 2013 12:17 pm Reply
  • Joselyn Hoffman Schutz via Facebook

    If Dr. Barnard were right, why wasn’t Alzheimer’s epidemic throughout all of human history when fish and/or meat were consumed in large amounts across the entire planet? Why would Alzheimer’s be a very recent, very modern disease, which it is?

    June 7th, 2013 12:17 pm Reply
  • Leslee Watson via Facebook

    That was a poorly written article. It did not explain why – and there are many whys. Quite simply, that a glass of skim may lead to two cookies is ridiculous. Please try to put some science behind it.
    We’ve known for a long time that the sugar in the milk can spike insulin levels if there is no fat to slow the absorption of that sugar.
    Along with a few other hidden secrets like, cows milk is for calves.

    June 7th, 2013 12:17 pm Reply
  • Joselyn Hoffman Schutz via Facebook

    Almond milk is high in omega 6’s. Most Americans have a disastrously high intake of omega 6’s compared to omega 3. Better to quit drinking anything that resembles milk than to drink nut milk.

    June 7th, 2013 12:16 pm Reply
  • Leanne Scorah via Facebook

    And adults too.

    June 7th, 2013 12:16 pm Reply
  • Stacey D’Amico Turner via Facebook

    Dr. Barnard says dairy, meat and fish are all linked with Alzheimer’s. Almond milk is such a better choice.

    June 7th, 2013 12:10 pm Reply
  • Kristi McGuire via Facebook

    Jason LeLeux

    June 7th, 2013 12:08 pm Reply
  • Pingback: Low-Fat Dairy Makes You Fat | 3DLivingNutrition

  • Katie Funk via Facebook

    Just look up your local herd share. You’d be surprised how easy it is to buy stock in a grass fed cow near you.

    April 2nd, 2013 9:38 pm Reply
  • Pat Briscoe via Facebook

    As a Pediatric Nurse I was taught and the doctors agreed, that the infant and up to 2 yrs old at least, need the fat in milk for healthy brain development. This was brought up in the 1980’s when were giving their children skim milk so the wouldn’t get fat.

    April 2nd, 2013 9:34 pm Reply
  • Sarah Lynn via Facebook

    I’ve seen grass fed non homogenized milk at wholefoods it’s a better option than homogenized, but not as good an option as raw

    April 2nd, 2013 9:07 pm Reply
  • Larry Underwood via Facebook

    Reducing fat content has nothing to do with reducing the lactose content.

    April 2nd, 2013 8:21 pm Reply
  • Dawn Lane via Facebook

    Another book I read discussed how the lack of nutritious fats in our diets deprives our bodies so the brain isn’t able to complete/repair as many of the synapses. Literal dumbing down from lack of proper fats in our diet!

    April 2nd, 2013 6:30 pm Reply
  • Kelly Kindig via Facebook

    That explains why I craved so many carbs as a kid! Lol

    April 2nd, 2013 5:48 pm Reply
  • Kathie Rytenskild via Facebook

    So, my daughters on a strict candida diet & my homeopath has said to do skim milk instead of full fat just to reduce the sugar content of the lactose – she is extremely sensitive & only has milk in the occasional berry smoothee.

    April 2nd, 2013 4:30 pm Reply
  • Katy Kirk via Facebook

    Amy, also something to consider is that a lot of people are somewhat lactose intolerant. Maybe, Maddie needs her milk diluted a bit for it to be agreeable with her.

    April 2nd, 2013 2:57 pm Reply
  • Katy Kirk via Facebook

    I never much cared for milk period and could only ever drink it if was ice cold. But anyway I really don’t think this true, I’ve seen people get very fat drinking raw whole milk. I drank low fat as a child and I was very skinny like Maddie.

    April 2nd, 2013 2:46 pm Reply
  • Cristina Marzullo via Facebook

    not necessarily a new study this has been a fact and known to most of us who do our investigating and research before we feed our children….FOR A LACK OF KNOWLEDGE PEOPLE PERISH… dont believe everything your dr. tells you…do your homework!!!!

    April 2nd, 2013 1:57 pm Reply
  • Sonja Hric Grabel via Facebook

    Is science finally catching up with reality?!? I’ve known this for years!

    April 2nd, 2013 1:44 pm Reply
  • Amy Gaines via Facebook

    I’ve been aware of this for a few years so I’ve mostly stuck with whole raw milk. However, my daughter prefers low fat or skim milk (her preschool served it and she enjoyed it, to my horror). Is it advisable to serve slightly watered down whole milk? She likes and will drink it that way, with ice cubes, but never straight up whole milk.

    April 2nd, 2013 1:37 pm Reply
  • Sarah Tudor via Facebook

    We have raw milk for my family but in AK we can’t get full grass fed milk all year. But it’s better then the other stuff. We love it and make yogurt, and cheese from it too. Tastes so much better then store bought!

    April 2nd, 2013 12:31 pm Reply
  • Fiona Yousef via Facebook

    It’s difficult to find raw milk. How about grass fed, non homogenized, whole milk?

    April 2nd, 2013 12:08 pm Reply
  • Larry Underwood via Facebook

    Pasteurized milk still is not a choice no matter what the fat level/percentage.

    April 2nd, 2013 12:05 pm Reply
  • Lauren Tiffany via Facebook

    Its so difficult to find dairy products that are whole. I usually have to make fruit yogurt for my son.

    April 2nd, 2013 11:48 am Reply
  • Melinda Nelson via Facebook

    So true, I see it and said this too! A healthy breakfast would help.

    April 2nd, 2013 11:46 am Reply
  • Maureen Houghton Foster via Facebook

    Our schools will now serve all of the children only 2%, including pre-schoolers, which I feel is a mistake.

    April 2nd, 2013 11:41 am Reply
  • Amber Russell via Facebook

    I wish they’d take a closer look at other effects this has on little ones. While it’s gratifying to have confirmation that the entire reason for switching tots to lowfat is without merit, it was a stupid reason to begin with! Whether my kids will be fat is low on my list of priorities when choosing the healthiest food for them so I never did switch. Whole milk used to be recommended because they need the fat for brain development. When did the US decide that low bmi was more important than brains?!

    April 2nd, 2013 11:29 am Reply
  • Mitzi Wilkinson Champion via Facebook

    once we get past the notion that fat (the good kind) is bad for you and the law of thermodynamics, calories in/calories out, we can finally enjoy nutrient dense real food without guilt

    April 2nd, 2013 11:25 am Reply
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  • Kim

    “Give your kids whole milk like Grandma and Grandpa did”

    Yeah, Raw Milk is what my grandparents drank! And that’s what I’m giving my kids. I can’t imagine drinking the overly processed milk from the grocery store again.

    March 29th, 2013 9:09 am Reply
  • mezzo

    When I grew up there were very few fat-reduced product and nobody had ever heard of “no-fat”. It simply didn’t exist. I remember one type of fat-reduced sausage available from meat-counters. It was made from veal, looked pale and was quite tasteless – it was recommended for people with stomach and liver problems. Everything was full-fat (even though we didn’t think of it as that it was just normal) and the milk we bought from the farmer always had a thick layer of cream at the top. In primary school there was not one kid that was really overweight and obesity was not an issue. Women tended to put on a bit of weight after the menopause but nobody worried about that. Some men had beer-bellies – the pub habituals – and leading figures in politics and industry tended to be “portly”. But generally people were slim.

    March 29th, 2013 4:16 am Reply
  • Sally

    For two years I was told I was the only parent in our school district requesting whole milk for my four kids in three different schools. And I had to fight to be able to do that, but it was in the school district rules that parents could request whole milk. This is now the second year parents cannot get their kids whole milk. When the USDA passed the “Healthy Child Initiative” in 2010, they started enforcing the rule of all items on school menues must be 30% or less fat by weight, or aparently the school districts don’t get whatever the USDA gives them now.
    I want to start some kind of school food movement, starting small, like with milk, to force the USDA to listen up. I know there are general “improve school food” orgs out there, but most of them just want organic vegies, or local foods (again, all vegies) and I don’t really see any talking about whole milk. I don’t know how, or really have the time to start up something, but if anyone knows of a national organization focusing on getting whole milk back into schools, I want in! I know it’s not the best, but I can’t get my kids to take our raw milk to school, so they drink water instead at school now, and I’m really concerned because they have almost totally stopped drinking milk (the good full-fat raw milk we have) at home, too, and I’m thinking it’s related.
    It’s funny, though. When my kids were able to get the whole milk, usually they had to ask the lunch lady to get it for them, since they “couldn’t” put it in the regular milk cooler and risk someone else buying one! But since my kids were the only ones getting it, and they had to get it by the case from the dairy, when it started to come to the pull date, my oldest son’s high school WOULD put it in the dairy cooler. Some of my son’s friends, seeing him with it, decided to try it, and stated how much better it tasted! My kids will not drink the thin, watery stuff, and I’ve totally banned them from the chocolate and strawberry flavored crap that makes up two-thirds of our school district’s milk purchases. They probably wonder why kids won’t drink the plain milk, but if they just offered whole milk again, I bet that would totally change within one year as word got around. But then, I don’t doubt the dairy industry is behind this scam, since they can make more money on the cream using it to make butter and other value-added products, especially now that people are starting to wake up to the value of butter and the evil of margarine.

    March 29th, 2013 1:24 am Reply
  • marissa

    this makes me laugh…I have been a huge fat eater my entire life (45, and look 30) I am skinny/toned and have no health issues, bone issues, anything.
    I dont eat grains! Poison as far as I am concerned. I eat loads of organic meat, coconut oil, veges, butter and fruit.
    Low fat or trim anything is denatured and just bad. I never fell for the hype, and people would always freak at the amount of fat and butter etc I consumed but couldn’t understand how I remained skinny and healthy…I would explain, they would not believe. This was 20 years ago. My children are healthy fit boys, no junk and nothing out of a packet, they never get sick. Love this way of living

    March 28th, 2013 9:00 pm Reply
  • Andra

    LOVE your website Sarah! A Wealth of information! My family just jumped on the Nourishing Traditions bandwagon about a mobth agio and I cant believe hiw much i have learned about the RIGHT nutrition for myself and 5 children! removing milk from our diet has been the worst experience in all! What do you reccomend to those of us who do not have access to raw milk or just can’t afford it!? Raw milk runs for $8.99 for a half gallon in south O.C.,California.

    March 28th, 2013 4:50 pm Reply
  • Melba Pierce via Facebook

    The right kind of fats make us feel fuller sooner so we don’t eat toooooooo much…

    March 28th, 2013 2:43 pm Reply
  • Brenda

    Just an FYI to everyone about whole milk being unprocessed, all milk as it is processed (pasteurized and homogenized) is strained to be fat free. Then, they put fat back in to attain the correct percentages of fat for each type. That’s why it is more expensive for the milks with more fat than without.

    March 28th, 2013 1:37 pm Reply
    • IC

      I can assure you, the whole milk I get directly from a small dairy, has not had the fat taken out and put back. It is also not pasteurized or homogenized. That is the kind of unprocessed milk Sarah means.

      March 28th, 2013 7:50 pm Reply
    • Kim

      Raw milk! It’s the way to go. Fresh from the cow and into my own glass milk bottles. No human handling, no processing, no taking away from the natural goodness that milk has.

      March 29th, 2013 9:18 am Reply
  • Michelle Goldstein

    Excellent research.Thanks for sharing!

    March 28th, 2013 1:00 pm Reply
  • Larry Underwood via Facebook

    Peggy, obviously I was talking about grain carbs as grains are at the bottom of the food pyramid. And yes, even whole grains should be eaten sparingly (a carb is a carb is a carb) after you soak, sprout, and freshly grind them yourself (and only if your gut has been healed first by GAPS). Grain carbs are evil and the enemy of the weight watcher. That is why they’re forbidden in GAPS because they interfere with the gut healing itself! As for fruit & veg carbs, Sarah suggests juicing only occasionally since it creates a blood sugar spike (too many carbs at once). Also, she says she doesn’t eat much fruit in the winter mainly summer. Carbs really do need to be watched. It’s healthy fats you can eat with abandon. We really need to de-brainwash ourselves about this.

    March 28th, 2013 12:53 pm Reply
  • Yissell Diaz via Facebook

    This is the same milk (and brand) is given at my son’s pre-k. As soon he started drinking this “milk” he got rashes on his legs. I told them he was allergic to milk, so no more milk from him at school. I still have another uphill battle with snacks full of chemicals.

    March 28th, 2013 10:52 am Reply
  • Peggy Summy via Facebook

    Not all carbs are equal, either. We tend to lump them all together. We call the overprocessed, not made from real stuff breads etc carbs, yet when people make the conscious choice to use only whole grains milled from unprocessed sources, then I don’t believe the carbs are bad. Also, CARROTS have carbs, too! And quite often, it is also the SUGAR in the overprocessed stuff we call bread that is what is unhealthy for us.

    March 28th, 2013 9:30 am Reply
  • Rebecca

    I thought skim milk was non-fat, but in the article it states it is 1%? Can anyone help me out here to teach me :) Thanks!!

    March 28th, 2013 9:20 am Reply
    • Magda

      There is whole fat, 2%, 1% and skim. Skim is basically nonfat. Avoid all but whole milk (preferably raw, of course)!!

      March 28th, 2013 12:14 pm Reply
  • Shelley Roderick via Facebook

    I think the diet soda drinkers are the heaviest as well…just a guess though!?!?

    March 28th, 2013 8:54 am Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    Elizabeth Grange this is why the nonsense about reduced fat and skim milk being healthy can be pulled over our eyes … because most of us have lost our farming roots and don’t observe that skim milk makes animals really fat so it would do the same to us!

    March 28th, 2013 8:33 am Reply
  • William Thornton via Facebook


    March 28th, 2013 6:45 am Reply
  • Mary DeLong via Facebook


    March 28th, 2013 6:15 am Reply
  • Sharon

    In the past month, since I have been drinking FULL FAT, raw unpasteurized goat’s milk, I have lost 6 pounds and was’my even trying to lose weight. When will this low.fat madness stop! You just eat more carbs to compensate for the empty feeling when you have low fat anything

    March 28th, 2013 4:37 am Reply
  • Krupp

    Thanks for clearing this out! Haven’t thought that skim milk causes preschoolers to be the fattest among those children who are drinking low fat milk. I thought that these two have lots of benefits but it’s the opposite around. Ugh.

    March 28th, 2013 4:36 am Reply
  • Sharon

    I just want to thank you so much for all the great info you get out to us. I started having symptoms of Crohn’s disease over a year ago, have no medical insurance, and of course, the western medical system just wants to throw a bunch of expensive tests and horrible, expensive immune suppressing drugs at you. Thanks to you, I started on kombucha tea and fermented veggies the past year, which really helped me so much! THEN…over spring break I discovered our “local Goat’s Farm” ,, Homestead Farm, in Keller, Tx and bought my first gallon of raw, unpasteurized goat’s milk! I am not kidding you, it cured ALL symptoms in 2 days. Yes, raw milk from a local farmer is expensive, but not as expensive as Dr’s and meds that just mask symptoms.

    If you are having any “gut” problems, I would strongly suggest you check out traditional/ fermented diets, and try to find/support a local farmer who sells raw, unpasteurized milk and veggies, honey, etc. Goat’s milk is actually the closest in composition to human breast milk, and therefore easiest to digest.

    Best wishes to all of you in your search for health!
    Sharon in TX

    March 28th, 2013 4:16 am Reply
    • watchmom3

      Wow Sharon, that is so encouraging! I just got back from my first visit to a holistic dentist; the visit was wonderful..until I got the tx plan estimate…apparently all those stupid amalgams that my dentist put in when I was 10, now are cracked and leaching into my system. We don’t have insurance either, and haven’t had to go to the doctor in almost 5 yrs…the estimate is 16 thousand dollars! I almost fainted..seriously! I am looking to go to Mexico and if anyone knows a good one there, please let me know! We live in West Texas, so Acuna would be the closest, but I have to have something done as this is already affecting my health. I am 54 and I lost my Dad when he was 58, after he found out he had serious gum disease and broken fillings..cancer after that… I would appreciate any help. I do take Fermented Cod liver oil and raw milk, also try to use ghee and eat raw often. Thanks! No lowfat for us!!

      March 28th, 2013 11:02 am Reply
    • Beth

      I always tell people, you can pay the farmer or pay the doctor.

      March 28th, 2013 11:32 am Reply
    • Becky

      I am very curious about your experience with Crohn’s. My bestest friend ever has been diagnosed with Crohn’s since she was 13 and fighting it and the doctors ever since, she gets infusions regularly and has no insurance as well. She eats as much organic and healthy food as they can afford. Do you drink raw cow’s milk also or just raw goat milk?

      March 28th, 2013 11:57 am Reply
      • Ann

        Have your friend read “Listen To Your Gut” by Jini Patel Thompson. Here is a link to her website, she has a great blog and the book is unbelievable. She has had Crohn’s for many years, but has not had ANY medical interventions in over 20 years! She treats Crohn’s, Colitis, IBS and IBD with a combination of Wild Oregano oil, Probiotcis (including Probiotic retention enemas), and liquid bentonite clay. She addresses digestive inflammation in a very holistic way, and encourages meditation and lifestyle change, along with dietary changes, and natural medicines.

        I hope this helps your friend!

        March 28th, 2013 8:14 pm Reply
  • Sharyll Garlinger Martin via Facebook

    Better still, drink raw!

    March 28th, 2013 12:39 am Reply
  • Sonja Hric Grabel via Facebook

    It’s the sugar, Sugar!

    March 28th, 2013 12:06 am Reply
  • Cristina Marzullo via Facebook

    thank you for posting the truth

    March 27th, 2013 11:20 pm Reply
  • Melissa Hughes via Facebook

    But, let’s have the government allow “them” to put aspartame in milk, with no label. :-( Thanks for another great post!!! Your blog has long been one of my very favorites. I love the way you present, and substantiate, information. Very much appreciated! <3 Vitality Enthusiast

    March 27th, 2013 10:47 pm Reply
  • Konstantin Monastyrsky


    Thank you for bringing up this important topic. Back in 2006 I submitted an Op-Ed essay in response to the article “In New York Schools, Whole Milk Is Cast From the Menu” by David M. Herszenhorn (2/2/06). Here is the full text of my submission:

    Skimming the fat makes milk worse than worthless

    The decision by New York City’s school district (see In New York Schools, Whole Milk Is Cast From the Menu, February 2, 2006) to replace whole milk with 1% or skim milk to stem the obesity epidemic among schoolchildren will actually accelerate weight gain, increase the incidence of diabetes, and subvert the primary rational behind milk consumption–the prevention of bone diseases, poor immunity, and eyesight loss.

    Let’s first address the claim that reduced-fat milk combats obesity. According to the findings of a survey of 12,000 children between 9 and 14 years of age, conducted by Harvard University researchers and published in the Journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine in June of 2005, that isn’t the case: “Contrary to our hypotheses, dietary calcium and skim and 1% milk were associated with weight gain, but dairy fat was not.” (*)

    There are two reasons behind this “phenomenon”:

    First, a glass of whole milk contains 8 g of fat and 13 g of lactose, or a total of 124 calories. A glass of 1% and skim milk contains, respectively, 79 and 53 calories. Considering the taste of skim milk, children are more likely to consume 1% milk. The net reduction of energy content between a glass of 3.5% whole and 1% milk is a paltry 45 calories–an insignificant reduction in the interests of preventing obesity. (**)

    Secondly, even though each gram of fat provides 9 calories of energy, this value only applies to fat already stored in the body. The net energy value of fat from food sources is considerably less, because dietary fat requires a certain amount of energy to get digested, assimilated, stored, and converted to usable energy in the first place. Besides, most of the saturated fat–the dominant kind found in a glass or two of whole milk–doesn’t become body fat, but is used to synthesize vital substances, such as cellular components, hormones, and vitamins.

    Reducing the fat content of milk impacts the children’s health even more negatively than their weight. To begin with, there is nothing natural about skim or reduced-fat milk. It is fortified (***) with synthetic vitamins A (retinyl palmitate) and vitamin D3 (7-dehydro-cholesterol), because natural vitamin A is lost during the removal of fat, while milk is naturally low in vitamin D. Some dairy products are also fortified with calcium because natural calcium is bound by milk proteins, and digests poorly.

    The fortification of dairy with vitamin A is mandated by the federal government in order to prevent blindness and poor immunity in children. Vitamin D and calcium are added to protect children from rickets and scoliosis–a softening of the skeletal bones. A vitamin D deficiency is also implicated in type 1 diabetes (****), which predominantly affects children.

    Ironically, the fat-soluble vitamins A and D, and the calcium in skim and reduced-fat milk are essentially useless, because they all require the presence of dietary fat in order to get digested. Adding insult to injury, widespread allergies to casein (milk protein) and lactose intolerance causes intestinal inflammation, and renders vitamin A, D, calcium, and other milk nutrients futile. (*****)

    As you can see, skimming the fat from milk is yet another case of good intentions gone bad. Who benefits from all this? The milk industry, mostly: the milk fat is sold as butter and cream, while the whey (cheap livestock feed not so long ago), is resold at fat profits as skim or reconstituted 1% milk.

    In no way do I wish to imply that diary products are bad. They are indeed a good source of vital nutrients for children of all ages as long as they’re consumed in their natural, unadulterated form. Cheeses and fermented diary products, such as whole milk yogurt or kefir, are best, because the bacterial fermentation eliminates most of the lactose and breaks down the bonds between milk protein and calcium.

    If you prefer not to give milk to your child, liquid cod liver oil (not capsules) is the best source for natural vitamins A and D, and equally vital Omega-3 fatty acids. It’s especially beneficial during the winter months, when there isn’t enough sun exposure to synthesize intrinsic vitamin D, and diets are lacking in naturally-ripened produce, which is rich in beta-carotene (a precursor to vitamin A). And there’s no reason to worry about the taste of cod liver oil: the mint- and lemon-flavored varieties available today would be palatable to even the most discriminating five year old.

    Got milk? Just make sure it’s whole!

    ========= end ==========

    Guess what, this submission was never published…

    March 27th, 2013 10:44 pm Reply
  • Coral Mings via Facebook

    Most people don’t realize that children NEED the full fat in milk for their brains to develop properly. Never give a child skim milk…

    March 27th, 2013 10:41 pm Reply
    • Beth

      Yes, this is perhaps the most tragic outcome of the dangerous low-fat myth.

      Brains don’t develop properly without fat.

      It doesn’t bode well for the future of society.

      March 28th, 2013 11:30 am Reply
  • Linda Roush Nuttall via Facebook

    Last summer my grandson (6) was in a chunkier phase, so his pediatrician, who we love, had us schedule a consult with their nutritionist. First thing out of her mouth, switch to whole milk products including yogurt. Kids absolutely need the fat in the growing a brain process!! The fat satisfies the appetite too so less is more. Also, my grandson grew a couple inches and went back to 50 percentile in height and 75th in weight which the doc was OK with. FTW!!

    March 27th, 2013 10:33 pm Reply
  • Moji Bonakdar via Facebook

    The kids who drink whole milk probably have parents who are also educated on how to live a healthy lifestyle as well.

    March 27th, 2013 10:27 pm Reply
  • Debra Migdad via Facebook

    The milk doesn’t come out of the cow fat-free or low-fat. Skim and low-fat milk are processed foods. Processed = bad. Organic, raw milk = good, very good! =)

    March 27th, 2013 10:25 pm Reply
  • Janell Richardson via Facebook

    Lol @ just smile and nod. I do that all the time. I know what’s best.

    March 27th, 2013 10:22 pm Reply
  • Tracey Griffith via Facebook

    This is very funny considering the advice our doctor just gave me… to switch to 2% for my chunky 2yo. Just smile and nod. I think she would keel over if I mentioned the word “raw”.

    March 27th, 2013 10:13 pm Reply
    • Liz

      Our chunky 2 year old has slimmed down to a perfectly proportioned 3 year old.

      What did it? Who knows, but we certinainly didn’t skimp (pun not intended haha) on the full fat raw milk, butter etc.

      In fact, she loves nothing more than a ‘taste’ of butter while my husband and I are cooking! Don’t tell the doc that one lol.

      April 2nd, 2013 12:35 am Reply
  • Richard Gamble via Facebook

    To feed babies infant formulas (soy) is a crime and one that has been perpetuated by the food industry. I cannot imagine how the executives and the shareholders of these companies can sleep at night. But the the devil does.

    March 27th, 2013 10:00 pm Reply
  • Jane Angeles via Facebook

    Just drink almond milk.

    March 27th, 2013 9:56 pm Reply
  • Sara Reimold via Facebook

    Lowfat…thanks incorrect.

    March 27th, 2013 9:43 pm Reply
  • Lee Sizemore Dorgan via Facebook

    because they consume more lowfat milk with the carb calories to get the fat they need

    March 27th, 2013 9:42 pm Reply
  • Sara Reimold via Facebook

    I read another article about this and one of the researchers said that she would still be feeding her kids lost. They just don’t get it..

    March 27th, 2013 9:42 pm Reply
  • Amy Noonan Trier via Facebook

    Shocking – doc ordered 2% or less at our house.

    March 27th, 2013 9:39 pm Reply
  • Deanna Stephenson via Facebook

    Chemicals! We’ve never gotten on the fat free, low fat, 2%, 1%, skim band wagon.

    March 27th, 2013 9:37 pm Reply
  • Becky Barger via Facebook

    We’ve always had whole milk in our house….but they serve 1 percent at school. :(

    March 27th, 2013 9:32 pm Reply
  • Cindy Norman Crabtree via Facebook

    I’m pretty sure that either lowfat or skim is what they are given in public school.

    March 27th, 2013 9:29 pm Reply
  • Lorraine Roberts via Facebook

    Take out the fat and you are left with a lot of sugar.

    March 27th, 2013 9:29 pm Reply
  • Peggy Summy via Facebook

    Now, how long will it take the WIC offices to get the memo?! My kids have always been UNDERWEIGHT according to the charts so I’ve gotten whole milk to make sure their get all the protein and fats. Guess if I wanted to fatten them up, I should have been giving them skim! LOL

    March 27th, 2013 9:29 pm Reply
  • Petra Mayo via Facebook

    Don’t tamper with ANY food.

    March 27th, 2013 9:29 pm Reply
  • Larry Underwood via Facebook

    Because the body overcompensates when you deny it the fat it wants and knows it should be getting. It knows that milk should have had fat in it so it will make you hungry to eat more calories until it gets the fat it wants. Since Americans put carbs at the bottom of the food pyramid when they should be at the top and eaten sparingly, we get fat.

    March 27th, 2013 9:29 pm Reply
  • Peggy Summy via Facebook

    Man-made or checmical type fats are NOT good for you, though!

    March 27th, 2013 9:27 pm Reply
  • Rebecca Rose Heidenreich via Facebook

    and there are more carbs in low fat/skim products!

    March 27th, 2013 9:25 pm Reply
  • Mitzi Wilkinson Champion via Facebook

    Fat doesn’t make you fat…carbs do

    March 27th, 2013 9:24 pm Reply
    • Just Maybe

      – No, Carbs do not make you fat.
      – An over abundance of ANY food group on a daily basis will cause weight/medical problems.
      – The absolute complete removal of any food group from your diet will cause weight/medical problems.
      – The following of every new fad & trying to keep up with every new study related to food & it’s consequences, good & bad, will cause weight/medical problems.

      When are people going to realize that the problem in America is our tendency to be Gluttons. Gluttons in every aspect of our being. We want what we want, when we want it, to the degree we want it with no restrictions whatsoever regardless of the consequences.
      Europeans have not even 1/100th of the Weight problems we, as Americans, have. I was always made to feel strange when I went out with friends because I didn’t eat they way they did. I am first generation American on my Dad’s side & second on my Mom’s. I never knew what it was to have junk food, soda or treats on a daily basis & I never ate the same amount of food that I saw my friends eating. I would always have to try to stuff down this big full plate of food when I would eat at a friend’s because I was always to not eat what you are offered in another’s home is an insult. Friends would come to house & think we were strange because instead of having a table full of stuffed dishes we would four or so small courses that, in the end, was still not as much as their one plate. There was always salad as the last course not the first. It was the last because the ruffage is what help to push the protiens, carbs & fats through your digestive system. I am 42 & to this day when I go to McDonald’s I get a kids meal – not a Big Kids meal but just the original small kids meal. It satisfies me without complaint. Very rarely has anyone in my family encountered true digestive issues or weight problems.

      All anyone needs to do, young or old, is eat in moderation, breathe & be mobile. You can eat , shot of any food allergies, anything you want provided you eat in moderation & make sure that you spend some time each day being active. It is quite simple. You want cake, gray have a PIECE of cake not half the cake just one piece & not every night just on e or twice a week. You want Soda, great have soda – a small 8oz. Glass of soda once in a while. Moderations & Movements – a whole new meaning to “M&M’s”.

      I doubt very much that the American society will subscriber to the notion of moderation as we seem to be too selfish & always looking for the easy way out. That’s why everyone jumps on the Fad bandwagon & actually sucks up the mess they spend all day reading about in a bunch of contradictory studies. Wow, what we put our minds, bodies & children through all in the name of “HEALTH”…

      Maybe, Just Maybe, someday we will come to our senses…

      March 28th, 2013 3:18 pm Reply
      • Just Maybe NOT

        I would politely ask you – please speak for yourself! I am a first generation American and I STILL don’t drink soda or eat at McDonalds. Neither do most of my friends and they are mostly very American. If I see someone who eats differently, I don’t judge them. If someone asks about how we eat, I tell them. And I do finish what I am served as a guest, there is nothing more WASTEFUL than not finishing a meal made from quality from scratch ingredients. It’s the disposable/McDonald’s cheap food mentality that contributes to a lack of healthy eating and an immediate gratification type mentality.
        If Americans are so offensive, why don’t you go back to Europe?

        March 28th, 2013 8:01 pm Reply
  • Rita Ann Diehl via Facebook

    Wow! Why?

    March 27th, 2013 9:22 pm Reply
  • Elizabeth Grange via Facebook

    all the farmers know that skim milk fattens the hogs!

    March 27th, 2013 9:22 pm Reply
  • Stanley Fishman

    Low fat milk does not occur in nature. I hope that someday our institutions will learn that the unmodified foods of Nature are the best for us. These are the foods humans have eaten for uncounted thousands of years, and our bodies have adapted to them.

    March 27th, 2013 4:14 pm Reply
  • Joyce

    They are just now finding this out, or are people finding this out, and the are forced to report on it… Just like CBS recently came out with artificial sweeteners making people fat. Many people have been saying this for decades… They are just now listening…?

    March 27th, 2013 3:30 pm Reply
  • Lacie

    Quite surprised? I’m sure they were. Eye roll.
    It’s so frustrating how hard it is to find full fat dairy anything at the store, even organic. Sometimes I want to splurge on some store bought yogurt. But I don’t want 0% fat. Eating fat keeps me skinny (and in a better mood).

    March 27th, 2013 3:15 pm Reply
    • Magda

      I totally agree!! 99% of all yogurts in the grocery store are lowfat or nonfat. Blech… Amazing: decades after the lowfat theory was debunked and people still believe that garbage (and eat it, too!).

      March 27th, 2013 3:56 pm Reply
    • Holly

      I, too, hate having to buy yogurt that is low-fat or no-fat. Which is why I was happy to find Stonyfield’s FULL fat yogurt! It is, of course, made for babies — apparently babies are the only ones allowed to have full fat dairy. Eye roll. Anyway, it is called Yo Baby. It’s organic and full fat. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to make plain yogurt. But the flavors they make are pretty good. I’ve tried the peach, banana, vanilla, and (my favorite) apple & sweet potato. By no means do I consider this yogurt to be as healthy as homemade yogurt from raw milk. But it is nice to know I can get store-bought yogurt that is full fat and organic.

      March 28th, 2013 12:13 am Reply
      • Liz

        If you can find Fage Greek yogurt where you are they have a whole fat version that is delicious.

        March 29th, 2013 9:21 pm Reply
      • Barbara

        I can get Stoneyfield Organic Plain Whole milk yogurt in the 32 oz. containers around here (NW Ohio). It’s fabulous as the top inch or so is like creme fraiche–and I use it as such. It is *the* best fruit “dressing” when mixed with cut up fruit. If your local grocer sells Stoneyfield, as if they’ll carry the larger sizes. We have a couple of smaller locally owned grocers who are able to bring in requested products within a few days and encourage customers to suggest items.

        April 11th, 2013 8:18 am Reply
    • Beth

      I thought I’d found a full-fat grass-fed yogurt, but alas, someone said it’s not 100% grassfed and I just checked the label and it contains whole AND skim. Darn.
      It’s Kalona Super Natural Organic 5% Plain Yogurt:
      Ingredients: Organic Cultured Grade A Milk, Organic Skim Milk, Organic Cream.
      It’s a step up, but not quite what we’re all hoping for.

      As for the reaction of the researchers:
      All the information people could ever want about the low-fat myth is out there for the world to see. Old cherished myths die hard, I guess.

      March 28th, 2013 11:26 am Reply
      • kelly

        trader joe’s has organic whole milk yogurt too.

        March 28th, 2013 5:43 pm Reply
        • B

          Unfortunately, the Trader Joe’s brand of whole milk yogurt contains pectin from apples and citrus peels and since these are not listed as organic, one wonders if these are laced with pesticides due to the heavy spraying of non-organic citrus and apples.

          I wonder why they feel the need to add such an ingredient anyway.

          April 1st, 2013 5:06 am Reply
    • Deborah

      Whole Foods carries a brand I love: Erivan. It’s whole fat, lightly pasturized, unflavored, small farmer and grass fed. It’s the closest store-bought yoghurt to my own homemade raw milk yoghurt in flavor, texture and quality.

      March 28th, 2013 2:00 pm Reply

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