Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Spoiler Alert!

Childhood obesity has become more a prevalent health disorder in recent years. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 17.3% of children and adolescents were reported to be obese worldwide. This number is alarming because of the possible correlation childhood obesity has with diseases in their later lives.

One of the more popular food groups for adolescent consumption is dairy. Not only a favorite of many kids, it’s also an important staple to promote healthy bones. Alternatively, a popular belief is that consumption of high fat dairy products leads to excessive weight gain. With this in mind, over the past decade the relationship between dairy product consumption and weight gain/ obesity in children have been studied. 

A group of scientist researched past clinical trials which all suggested that in short-term a beneficial effect of dairy consumption on the risk of childhood obesity, but the long-term affects have been unclear. Recognizing that this data has not been found, a group of scientists set out to examine the long-term association between dairy consumption and the risk of obesity in children.

The scientists then researched and pooled together their findings and analysis of multiple studies. What they came up with were 10 studies, that looked at 46,011 children with and average 3 year follow up. This study showed that the children with the highest intake of dairy products whether it was cow’s milk, sheep’s milk, goat’s milk or etc. were 38% less likely to have childhood obesity compared to those with the lowest intake of dairy products. 

This study suggests with a range of evidence that contrary to popular belief that the risk of childhood obesity is due to high fat dairy products, but actually dairy products long-term make it less likely that childhood obesity will occur.

It’s important for studies like this one to be done so the general public can be more educated on what they are feeding their children. Although this study may need to be researched more with a more precise way of analyzing data, this is one step to learning more about childhood obesity and what triggers it. By educating the public parents can make a more educated decision on what they feed their children. 

Sources: 
http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ejcn2015226a.html

Posted by: Emily Mueller (2)


12 comments:

  1. There is always new research telling us that one thing (dairy, bread, etc.) is bad for us. I think we need to look at the root of the problem, how much these children are eating and how we can decrease their caloric intake to a healthy amount instead of focusing on whether high fat dairy is causing all of their problems. I hope by educating children and their parents, we will see a movement in future generations towards a healthier US population.


    Dasha Agoulnik

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    1. I think the best way for obesity to be prevented is to educate the public. Parents making stricter decisions on what they give their children or what is available in their house is important. Also, calorie consumption is a big contributor to obesity but so is not being active. If people are educated on how to stay active and the obvious health benefits of it, there may be a brighter outlook for future generations.

      Emily Mueller (Group 2)

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  2. Obesity has become a huge problem not just here in the US but also Mexico and a lot of other countries in Europe and South America. A big part of that is poor families that are more likely to buy cheap food that's high in calories but low in nutritional value rather than fruits, vegetables or other healthier choices.
    It isn't only the poor that are suffering from the obesity epidemic though and I've heard a lot of opinions about why that is but no concrete explanation. Marketing of unhealthy foods, junk food that's getting tastier and more addictive and just bad eating habits in general. Then kids learn these bad eating habits from their parents at a young age and never really have a chance.
    Dairy products are generally high in fat but that alone won't make these kids obese. Most things are fine in moderation so I think the problem is a combination of bad eating, overeating and lack of exercise rather than one specific food group even though that might be one of the contributors.

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    1. -Cole DiStasio (Group 1)

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  3. Although the research presented is quite interesting, a 38% chance is not convincing enough to support the claim that long-term consumption of dairy products in children lowers the risk of childhood obesity. There are various other factors not included in this study, such as physical activity or other dietary habits. It would be interesting to see how these researchers would address these factors in further studies.

    Allen Currier (Group 1)

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    1. I agree, I believe that this research doesn't fully cover all the factors that can be contributed to obesity in children. I think it would be interesting to see the research done with the same children and see the differences in their environmental factors.

      Emily Mueller (Group 2)

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  4. I believe that obesity has always been and always will be a very big issue in the US. Research shows that in 2012 more than one thirds of children and adolescents are obese. It is important for parents to make sure their children are eating healthy and exercising to avoid these problems later on in life. If more people are educated about obesity then hopefully we will see a difference and future generations can live a healthier life.

    -Rebecca Thomas

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  5. This is a really interesting and an extremely relevant issue in todays society. I think its an interesting point that the data showed that children were consuming more dairy products, since there is a heavy emphasis on making sure kids follow the food pyramid (now My Plate) and consume plenty of milk and dairy for calcium and strong bones. Clearly now it is evident that the consumption of dairy may be too high, and the food pyramid may need to be reevaluated.

    Erina Taradai

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  6. This is a very interesting topic and one that our country still needs to focus on today. I have heard in recent news that obesity overall has decreased so we must be doing something right.
    The relationship between dairy and obesity is rather interesting since its something that people emphasize as an important source for our diet. I wonder though if it has to do with the fact that as humans, we are not really supposed to be drinking milk after a certain age. Ive read and heard before that being able to drink and properly digest milk as adults was a mutation over evolutionary time and being lactose intolerant is seen to be "normal". If one thinks about it, we are the one of the few, maybe only mammal species that drinks milk past infancy.

    Sarah Ona

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  7. Food consumption as it relates to obesity is very prevelant throughout today's society and should be taken more seriously. Often studies discuss obesity as a more heritable trait (which means it can not be prevented) and despite an individual's diet- they will always be innately obese. However, similar to other diseases such as diabetes, this article reveals to us that an individual (or parent's more specifically) plays a vital role in childhood obesity. I agree, they should educate themselves about particular dairy products to prevent obesity or reduce side effects of obesity.

    Donisha White

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  8. This article was very interesting to read given that research findings indicate that consuming too much dairy is a cause of the obesity epidemic that is currently occurring in the states, when in actually we undermine the junk food industry, which is the leading source of the obesity epidemic. When walking through a grocery store, you see that a box of cupcakes, cookies, chips, and or chocolate costs 3 dollars and a bag of grapes and or a pint of blueberries will cost 4 dollars or more. In Mcdonalds, a cheeseburger costs less than a salad. Not only are the healthy/organic choices much more expensive, our portion sizes are also greater. Many fail to realize that too much of anything is bad for a person. Consuming too many cookies is just as bad as consuming too much kale. There are multiple factors and issues that surround and plague this epidemic, and it is the biggest ones that are not being targeted.

    -Soffie Jobarteh

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