Association between dairy food consumption and weight change over 9 y in 19,352 perimenopausal women

Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Dec;84(6):1481-8. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/84.6.1481.


Background: Dairy foods may play a role in the regulation of body weight.

Objective: We examined the association between changes in dairy product consumption and weight change over 9 y.

Design: The study was conducted in 19 352 Swedish women aged 40-55 y at baseline. Data on dietary intake, body weight, height, age, education, and parity were collected in 1987-1990 and 1997. The intake frequencies of whole milk and sour milk (3% fat), medium-fat milk (1.5% fat), low-fat milk and sour milk (<or=0.5% fat), cheese, and butter were calculated at baseline and follow-up. The women were categorized into 4 groups according to their intake: 1) constant, <1 serving/d; 2) increased from <1 serving/d to >or=1 serving/d; 3) constant, >or=1 serving/d; and 4) decreased from >or=1 serving/d to <1 serving/d. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% CIs for an average weight gain of >or=1 kg/y were calculated by using multivariable logistic regression analyses, with group 1 as the reference.

Results: Mean (+/-SD) body mass index (in kg/m2) at baseline was 23.7 +/- 3.5. The constant (>or=1 serving/d) intakes of whole milk and sour milk and of cheese were inversely associated with weight gain; ORs for group 3 were 0.85 (95% CI: 0.73, 0.99) and 0.70 (95% CI: 0.59, 0.84) respectively. No significant associations were seen for the other 3 intake groups. When stratified by BMI, the findings remained significant for cheese and, for normal-weight women only, for whole milk and sour milk.

Conclusion: The association between the intake of dairy products and weight change differed according to type of dairy product and body mass status. The mechanism behind these findings warrants further investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight / physiology*
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Dairy Products*
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Energy Intake / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Perimenopause*
  • Sweden
  • Weight Gain*


  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Dietary Fats