Magazine article USA TODAY

Calcium Key Provider of Good Health

Magazine article USA TODAY

Calcium Key Provider of Good Health

Article excerpt

Obesity rates are higher than ever, with an estimated 61% of U.S. adults overweight or obese and 13% of children and adolescents carrying extra pounds, according to the latest government statistics. The good news from the National Dairy Council, Rosemont, Ill., is that various studies demonstrate that cheese, milk, and yogurt may play a critical role in weight maintenance and loss when coupled with a reduced calorie diet.

The "anti-obesity" effect of dietary calcium: In one finding, mice on a reduced calorie, high calcium diet lost more weight than mice on a reduced calorie, low calcium regimen. Data from human studies suggest that consuming the recommended amount of calcium daily, specifically from a variety of dairy products, may play an important role in the prevention of adult and childhood obesity.

Building better bodies, beyond bones: A Creighton University, Omaha, Neb., researcher reevaluated data from previously published studies on women and bone health to determine if calcium intake plays a role in the risk of being overweight during midlife. The analysis found that females who consumed lower amounts of calcium gained an average of nearly a pound a year. Conversely, women who consumed higher amounts--like those found in about three daily servings of milk, cheese, or yogurt--averaged a slight weight loss. …

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