A recent study funded by the Canadian government and St. Michael’s Hospital shows strong evidence of a direct link between physical height and the consumption of dairy products. Over 5,000 children were involved in the research, and it showed a significant difference in height between those whose daily diet included regular consumption of cow’s milk and those who drank soy, almond, or other types of plant-based milk products as a replacement for traditional cow’s milk.
The study targeted three-year-olds and found that those who drank at least three cups of milk on a daily basis were, on average, had .6 inches in height on their nondairy drinking counterparts. Furthermore, the study suggested a substantial correlation between the amount of nondairy alternatives each child consumed, the shorter he or she was likely to be. Further conclusions found that even children who consumed both plant-based milk products as well as cow’s milk were shorter than their peers who drank cow’s milk exclusively.
The study was specific to cow’s milk and even included goat’s milk among the dairy alternatives — and surprisingly enough, those who drank goat’s milk averaged shorter heights than those whose diets adhered strictly to cow’s milk. This serves as a strong indication that cow’s milk contains specific nutrients that aid in human growth. However, the study’s authors insist that more research is necessary to discern whether this is indeed the case.
The children involved in the study were part of Canada’s vast TARget Kids! research cohort. It was recently been published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It’s important to note that the study was in no way funded or promoted by the dairy industry.