Milk Alternatives Can Stunt Growth

With growing concerns about added chemicals and hormones, in addition to worries about animal products in general, more and more people are cutting dairy from their diet. Not just for the lactose intolerant anymore, many households are switching out cow’s milk in favor of soy, almond, coconut, rice, or flax “milks” instead. While some may think this is just a trend for hipsters and “basic white girls,” the truth is that even families are choosing to go dairy-free. Whether they are choosing to do so for health or ethical reasons, many kids are growing up without a good old fashioned glass of cow’s milk with dinner these days.


While the parents who chose to raise their children on alternative milks may think they are doing so in the name of nutrition, a new study proves otherwise. According to a study done on over 5,000 children published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, little ones who drink milk alternatives are generally shorter than their dairy-enjoying peers. In fact, the more non-cow milks a child consumed, the shorter he was compared to the milk drinking kids. Some of the children in the study consumed both cow’s milk and milk alternatives and were still found to be shorter than the kids who drank cow’s milk exclusively.


Often, food-related studies like this one are done by corporations who buy results that benefit them. However, Big Dairy was not behind this study. It was funded and performed by the Canadian Government and St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Ontario. In an interesting twist, goat’s milk was included in the alternate milk category in this study, so further research is required as to the effects of animal vs. plant-based milks on childhood height.