Obesity is the primary nutritional problem in Chile.
In this study, researchers from Chile and the United States examined the effects on body composition of delivering milk to the homes of overweight and obese children to displace sugar-sweetened beverages.
The team randomly assigned 98 children (aged 8 to 10 years) who regularly consumed sugar-sweetened beverages to intervention and control groups.
During a 16-week intervention, children were asked to drink 3 servings of milk per day and not consume sugar-sweetened beverages.
The research team measured the children's body composition using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.
|Accretion of lean body mass was greater in the intervention group.|
|American Journal of Clinical Nutrition|
During the study milk consumption in the intervention group increased by a mean of 453 grams per day, while the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages decreased by 711 grams per day.
In the control group, milk consumption did not change but the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages increased by 72 grams per day.
The research team was unable to identify any changes in percentage body fat between the 2 groups.
However, they did find that the mean accretion of lean body mass was greater in the intervention group (0.92 kg vs 0.62 kg).
They also found that the increase in height was also greater for boys in the intervention group (2.50 cm vs 1.77 cm).
Dr Cecilia Albala and colleagues concluded, "Replacing habitual consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages with milk may have beneficial effects on lean body mass and growth in children, despite no changes in percentage body fat".