Children who drink either flavoured or plain milk have higher intake of nutrients that are low in their diets and have a lower or comparable body mass index or BMI, according to a new study.
The researchers conducted the study over 7,557 American children between 2-18 years, drinking flavoured milk (with or without plain milk), exclusively plain milk and no milk.
They then compared their nutrient intakes and BMIs. The findings revealed that children drinking flavoured and plain milk had significantly higher intakes of vitamin A, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium than non-milk drinkers.
Among the girls aged 12-18 years the average calcium intakes by flavoured milk drinkers and exclusively plain milk drinkers were nearly double the calcium intakes of non-milk drinkers.
"Milk contains many nutrients that are important for children. We learned in our research that children who drink milk, including plain and flavoured milk, have higher intakes of many nutrients that are low in children's diets, and comparable or lower BMIs compared to children who don't drink milk," said Mary Murphy co-author of the study.
"Limiting access to flavoured milks in schools and elsewhere may have the undesirable effect of further reducing intakes of many essential nutrients provided by milk," she added.
"Flavoured milk is a great tasting, nutrient-rich beverage that makes it easy for consumers of all ages to meet the recommended servings of dairy foods each day," said Karen Kafer, vice president of nutrition affairs-health partnerships at the National Dairy Council.
The study appears in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.