There's a new magazine, from the publishers of Runner's World and Men's Health, called Women's Health. What a great idea for a magazine!
The lead headline on the cover reads:
Your Most Stubborn BELLY FAT GONE! The Secret? Eat This Food To Lose 81 Percent More Belly Fat.
Really? I have some stubborn belly fat. Don't many of us? Do tell me more!
Women who added this food to their daily diet lost 61 percent more body fat and 81 percent more stomach fat than people who ignored it!! ... A University of Tennessee study found that people who ate three servings of yogurt a day lost astounding amounts of body fat when compared to those who didn't eat any.
I think the trial they're talking about is this:
Zemel MB. et al. Effects of calcium and dairy on body composition and weight loss in African-American adults. Obesity Research. 13(7):1218-25, 2005 Jul.
First off, this isn't new information -- it's from almost two years ago!! It was also, as you can see from the title, a study of African-Americans. Most importantly, no other researcher has published a study corroborating that consuming dairy leads to weight loss.
I wrote a letter to the editor:
To the Editor:
I am a physician and a subscriber to Runner's World. My interest was piqued by the glossy sample of your new magazine, Women's Health. However, I was very disappointed by the suggestion to your readers to consume three servings of yogurt daily to lose weight.
Three studies, all by one researcher, Dr. Michael Zemel, and including fewer than a combined total of seventy patients, show any link between dairy and weight loss. No other study has found a link between dairy and weight loss; in fact, no researcher has corroborated Dr. Zemel's findings. In fact, Dr. Zemel's research is funded by the dairy industry and he has patented the claim of consuming dairy to lose weight.
I provide you the following references that would contradict your statement that women should have three servings of yogurt per day:
Thompson WG. Rostad Holdman N. Janzow DJ. Slezak JM. Morris KL. Zemel MB. Effect of energy-reduced diets high in dairy products and fiber on weight loss in obese adults. Obesity Research. 13(8):1344-53, 2005 Aug.
Bowen J. Noakes M. Clifton PM. Effect of calcium and dairy foods in high protein, energy-restricted diets on weight loss and metabolic parameters in overweight adults. International Journal of Obesity. 29(8):957-65, 2005 Aug.
Harvey-Berino J. Gold BC. Lauber R. Starinski A. The impact of calcium and dairy product consumption on weight loss. Obesity Research. 13(10):1720-6, 2005 Oct.
Lanou AJ. Data do not support recommending dairy products for weight loss. Obesity Research. 13(1):191, 2005 Jan
I would also suggest you go to http://www.cspinet.org/nah/09_05/milking.pdf, from the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
This story reflects one of two possibilities: First, your writer may not have done his or her research on the topic beyond the claims of the dairy industry. Or, worse yet, the editorial influence of certain researchers or organizations such as the dairy industry are greatly biasing the content of your magazine. Either way, this is not the type of magazine that I would wish to read, nor would I recommend it to my patients.