Research suggests teen milk drinkers are 43 percent less likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes as adults. Developing healthy habits like drinking milk as a teen could have a long-term effect on a woman’s risk for type 2 diabetes, according to new research in this month’s issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Researchers found that milk-drinking teens, were also likely to be milk-drinking adults – a lifelong habit that was associated with a 43 percent lower risk for type 2 diabetes compared to non-milk drinkers. Diabetes affects more than 25.8 million people, or nearly 1 out of 10 Americans.
The Harvard University study studied teenage and adult food intake patterns (including milk and milk products) and health risk in more than 37,000 women. Researchers found the women who drank the most milk as adults and consumed the most milk products in their teen years (about 4 servings per day) had a lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those who consistently had a low dairy intake (about 1 serving per day during the teen years). The milk-drinking teens were also more likely to maintain their dairy habit through adulthood and gained less weight over time – nearly 4 pounds less than milk-skippers. Weight gain is another important risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
1 Malik V, Sun Q, van Dam R, Rimm E, Willett W, Rosner B, Hu F. Adolescent dairy product consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes in middle-aged women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2011: 94;854-61.
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