Background: Dairy consumption has been postulated to reduce the risk of obesity and metabolic disturbances.
Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the associations of dairy consumption with body weight and other components of the metabolic syndrome.
Design: We used cross-sectional data for 2064 men and women aged 50-75 y who participated in the Hoorn Study. The metabolic syndrome was defined according to the National Cholesterol Education Program Expert Panel. Dairy consumption was assessed by using a semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaire.
Results: The median consumption of total dairy products was 4.1 servings/d. After adjustment for potential confounders (ie, dietary factors, physical activity, smoking, income, educational level, and antihypertensive medication), total dairy consumption was significantly associated with lower diastolic blood pressure (beta +/- SE: -0.31 +/- 0.12 mm Hg/serving) and higher fasting glucose concentrations (0.04 +/- 0.02 mmol/L per serving), but not with body weight or other metabolic variables (ie, lipids, postload glucose, or insulin). When different dairy products were distinguished, borderline significant (P < 0.10) inverse associations were observed for dairy desserts, milk, and yogurt with systolic (-1.26 +/- 0.58, -0.57 +/- 0.34, and -1.28 +/- 0.74 mm Hg/serving, respectively) and diastolic (-0.58 +/- 0.31, -0.57 +/- 0.18, and -0.35 +/- 0.40 mm Hg/serving, respectively) blood pressure, whereas cheese consumption was positively associated with body mass index (0.15 +/- 0.08/serving).
Conclusion: In an elderly Dutch population, higher dairy consumption was not associated with lower weight or more favorable levels of components of the metabolic syndrome, except for a modest association with lower blood pressure.