Kids who don't drink cow's milk are shorter

  • Kids who don't drink cow's milk are shorter

Kids who don't drink cow's milk are shorter

A new research now reveals that children who consume cow's milk are taller than kids who are non-cow's milk drinkers.

Children who consume plant-based milks don't grow as quickly as their dairy-drinking counterparts according to a study splashed across the tabloid papers today - but is this really the case? The height difference for a three-year-old who drank three cups of non-cow's milk compared to three cups of cow's milk per day was 1.5 centimetres, according to the study.

Results showed that non-cow milk dosage could be directly associated with a lower height, concluding that each daily cup of non-cow milk consumed results in the child being 0.4 centimeters shorter, or 0.15 inches. "I think they're using height as a marker for health, and I'm not sure that's appropriate", Amy Joy Lanou, a professor of health and wellness at the University of North Carolina-Asheville, remarked. Maguire however says that marketing of the non-cow milk beverages should be more regulated and claims that these non-cow milks are "of similar nutritional value" as cow's milk should not be made.

We found that children who are consuming non-cow's milk like rice, almond and soy milk tended to be a little bit shorter than children who consumed cow's milk.

The study found that 92 per cent of children drank cow's milk daily, while 13 per cent drank non-cow's milk. But doctors and researchers all agree that children should get the proper amount of protein, calcium, potassium and magnesium, whether it's from cow's milk or from other sources.

Researchers from St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto analyzed more than 5,000 children between the ages of two and six.

It's not clear why cow's milk does a body good, but scientists believe it's because replacements offer less protein. "This would suggest that cow's milk is superior". 5% of them drank non-cow's milk and 84% drank only cow's milk, 8% drank both and about 3% drank neither. He does point out that pediatricians know that children "who are on a certain percentile line in terms of height tend to stay on that line for the rest of their childhood and into adulthood".

Because this shift is so recent, there is very little research on the effect of non-cow's milk on childhood growth, he said. "Many of those beverages are marketed as being equivalent to cow's milk when they're not". It contains 16 grams of protein that is necessarily required by the three-year-old child. The same amount of almond milk drink typically contains just quarter of the protein, researchers said. This makes it hard for parents to fully understand the wider impacts and to weigh the pros and cons of each.