Objective: To determine whether the quantity and type of milk (whole, reduced fat, or 1%/nonfat) consumed at age 2 years is associated with adiposity at age 3 years.
Design: We assessed milk and dairy intake at age 2 years with food frequency questionnaires completed by mothers. Our primary outcomes were body mass index (BMI; calculated as kg/m(2)), z score and overweight at age 3 years, defined as BMI for age and sex >or=85th percentile.
Subjects/setting: Eight-hundred and fifty-two preschool-aged children in the prospective US cohort Project Viva.
Statistical analyses: Linear and logistic regression models, adjusting for maternal BMI and education, paternal BMI, and child age, sex, race/ethnicity, intake of energy, nondairy beverages, television viewing, and BMI z score at age 2 years were used.
Results: At age 2 years, mean milk intake was 2.6 (standard deviation 1.2) servings per day. Higher intake of whole milk at age 2, but not reduced-fat milk, was associated with a slightly lower BMI z score (-0.09 unit per daily serving [95% confidence interval: -0.16 to -0.01]) at age 3 years; when restricted to children with a normal BMI (5th to <85th percentile) at age 2 years, the association was null (-0.05 unit per daily serving [95% confidence interval: -0.13 to 0.02]). Intake of milk at age 2 years, whether full- or reduced-fat, was not associated with risk of incident overweight at age 3 years. Neither total milk nor total dairy intake at age 2 years was associated with BMI z score or incident overweight at age 3 years.
Conclusion: Neither consuming more dairy products, nor switching from whole milk to reduced-fat milk at age 2 years, appears likely to prevent overweight in early childhood.
Copyright (c) 2010 American Dietetic Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.