The highly politicized debate over cow's milk has being going on for a long time. A lot of good research has been done by both the dairy industry and independent people and organizations. In making the most informed decisions for yourself and your family, it is important to be familiar with old research and also be aware of results that are being reported from recent studies.
Here are the results of a recent study that was done in Canada:
Children who drink dairy alternatives like soy, almond or rice milks are slightly shorter than their peers who drink cow's milk, according to a new study.
The study, published Wednesday in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that each daily cup of non-cow's milk consumed was associated with 0.4 centimeters (0.15 inches) lower height than average for a child's age.
Image courtesy of: noizo“We found that children who are consuming non-cow's milk like rice, almond and soy milk tended to be a little bit shorter than children who consumed cow's milk,” said Dr. Jonathon Maguire, the study's lead author and a pediatrician and researchers at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. “For example, a 3-year-old child consuming three cups of non-cow's milk relative to cow's milk was on average 1.5 centimeters shorter.”That's over half an inch difference, which Maguire said is “not a tiny difference when you're 3 years old.” The study was a cross-section involving 5,034 healthy Canadian children ranging in age from 2 to 6 years old. The subjects were on average 38 months of age, with 51% being male, and were recruited from nine family and pediatric health-care practices from December 2008 to September 2015.
Image courtesy of: anzhiOf those participating, about 5% drank exclusively non-cow's milks, and about 84% drank only cow's milk; about 8% drank both and about 3% drank neither.Maguire said the most surprising finding was “that the amount children were shorter depended on how much they were consuming.”“It's not like if you're not consuming cow's milk, you're a little shorter,” he said. “It's more like if you are consuming non-cow's milk, with each cup that a child consumes, that child on average appears to be a little bit smaller, a little shorter. That's a bit surprising.”
Image courtesy of: PhilocyclerDoes it matter if a kid is half an inch shorter at the age of 3? Does it correlate to height in adulthood?“That's one remaining question. We don't know if the kids consuming non-cow's milk, maybe they catch up over time, or maybe they don't. Time's going to have to tell,” he said.
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