Researchers have warned against advertisements that claim dairy products help lose weight, insisting that neither dairy nor calcium intake help shed pounds.
The new review led by Amy Joy Lanou of the University of North Carolina at Asheville and Neal Barnard with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, DC has revealed that assessed 49 clinical trials from 1966 to 2007.
They looked at the effect of milk, dairy products, or calcium intake on body weight and BMI, with or without the use of dieting.
The findings revealed that neither dairy products nor calcium supplements helped people lose weight.
Out of the 49 clinical trials, 41 showed no effect, two exhibited weight gain, one showed a lower rate of weight gain, and only five showed weight loss.
The team believes that the association between calcium or dairy intake and weight loss seen in some observational studies may be attributable to factors, such as exercise, decreased soda intake, lifestyle habits, or increased fibre, fruit, and vegetable intake.
"Our findings demonstrate that increasing dairy product intake does not consistently result in weight or fat loss and may actually have the opposite effect," said the authors.
This study is published in the May 2008 issue of Nutrition Reviews.