Associations between dairy consumption and body weight: a review of the evidence and underlying mechanisms

Nutr Res Rev. 2011 Jun;24(1):72-95. doi: 10.1017/S095442241000034X. Epub 2011 Feb 15.


As the incidence of obesity is reaching 'epidemic' proportions, there is currently widespread interest in the impact of dietary components on body-weight and food intake regulation. The majority of data available from both epidemiological and intervention studies provide evidence of a negative but modest association between milk and dairy product consumption and BMI and other measures of adiposity, with indications that higher intakes result in increased weight loss and lean tissue maintenance during energy restriction. The purported physiological and molecular mechanisms underlying the impact of dairy constituents on adiposity are incompletely understood but may include effects on lipolysis, lipogeneis and fatty acid absorption. Furthermore, accumulating evidence indicates an impact of dairy constituents, in particular whey protein derivatives, on appetite regulation and food intake. The present review summarises available data and provides an insight into the likely contribution of dairy foods to strategies aimed at appetite regulation, weight loss or the prevention of weight gain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Appetite Regulation*
  • Body Composition
  • Dairy Products
  • Diet*
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Milk* / chemistry
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Weight Loss*