Calcium and weight: clinical studies

J Am Coll Nutr. 2002 Apr;21(2):152S-155S. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2002.10719213.


Data from six observational studies and three controlled trials in which calcium intake was the independent variable (and either bone mass or blood pressure the original outcome variable) have been reanalyzed to evaluate the effect of calcium intake on body weight and body fat. Analysis reveals a consistent effect of higher calcium intakes, expressed as lower body fat and/or body weight, and reduced weight gain at midlife. Similarly, studies relating nutrient intake to body composition report negative associations between calcium intake and body weight at midlife and between calcium and body fat accumulation during childhood. There is a fairly consistent effect size, with each 300 mg increment in regular calcium intake associated with approximately 1 kg less body fat in children and 2.5-3.0 kg lower body weight in adults. Taken together these data suggest that increasing calcium intake by the equivalent of two dairy servings per day could reduce the risk of overweight substantially, perhaps by as much as 70 percent.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Composition
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight*
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Child
  • Dairy Products
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology


  • Calcium, Dietary