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Dairy Consumption Linked to Obesity

Sabrina Petersen // September 11, 2020

It’s frightening that over one-third of American adults are obese. But even more frightening are the statistics showing that an increasing number of children suffer from obesity. While several societal factors are at play, the USDA Dietary Guidelines on dairy may not be helping, as a 2012 literature review has uncovered a biological link between dairy consumption in children and childhood obesity.

Strong evidence suggests leucine, found in cows’ milk and dairy-based infant formulas, is contributing to the American obesity epidemic. Popular with bodybuilders, leucine is known for its muscle-building properties. While stimulating the production of muscle mass, leucine also increases insulin resistance, laying a foundation for developing metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Other effects include suppression of leptin, the hormone that indicates to your brain that the stomach is full after a meal, and fat formation—both of which can lead to noticeable weight gain.

“Scientific Review Finds Biological Link Between Dairy Consumption and Obesity,” T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, nutritionstudies.org, Dec. 23, 2019.

This health tidbit is taken from the Lifelines section in our latest issue. Read the whole section for free here!

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