By: Krystle Crossman
When we were kids we were told to drink our milk. Milk is supposed to help us grow and help our bones to become stronger because of the calcium. New studies are showing that there is a certain amount of milk that preschoolers should be consuming. Too little gives them no health benefits but too much can give negative side effects.
The study was conducted by the University of Charlottesville pediatrician Dr. Mark DeBoer. The study collected data from 9,000 children who participated. It showed that the correct amount of milk per day for a preschool child is two cups. They also found that more than three cups a day could have negative effects. Two cups helped children to grow taller and have better bone density. The children who drank more milk than that had a higher BMI.
The study began when the children were in their toddler years. They noted the consumption of milk for each child and conferred with the parents throughout the study to make sure they had accurate data. Out of the almost 9,000 that participated in the study they were able to follow up with 7,000 at age five. Out of those children over half of them drank one or two servings of milk per day. They found that by age four the children that drank more than three servings of milk per day were 16 times more likely to have a higher BMI than their peers who had two or less servings. They did find however that children who drank two or more servings per day were taller than those that had one or less servings per day but only by about a centimeter.
Dr. DeBoer cautioned that this was all based on their observations so there was no definite cause and effect data to link servings of milk to height and weight gain, but it is something that is worth looking into. He said that due to the study they are able to learn a bit more about what is healthy for kids and what might not be as healthy as we think. Milk is a great source of Vitamin D, calcium, and healthy fats, but if you have too much of these the negative effects outweigh the positive ones.