Drinking Water or Milk With Meals Can Help You Eat Less
Positive changes in dietary patterns were observed when children drank water or dairy beverages instead of sugary drinks during meals, according to a study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition.
Previously the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition suggested that children should consume plain water when eating to promote fullness, reduce intake of calories and maintain a healthy weight. However, little scientific research existed, until now, to pinpoint the link between beverage choices, dietary habits and weight in adolescents
To better understand this potential link, researchers sampled 173 overweight Danish children. The kids consumed either water or a dairy beverage such as skim milk, whey or casein over the course of 12 weeks when eating. The participants were instructed to consume food without any moderation.
Researchers discovered that the children consumed less food per kilogram of body weight during the study compared to the control group. The adolescents in both the water and dairy group consumed less convenience foods like sugary snacks, and the water group showed a decrease in calorie consumption throughout the study.
The results give researchers hope that the consistent pattern of consuming water and dairy beverages over sugary drinks could be a critical step in improving dietary habits and maintaining healthy weights in children.
"The main strength of this study is the inclusion of the whole dietary approach of well-measured foods and dietary patterns,” said Dr. Louise Andersen, lead author of the study. “Moreover, the investigation was designed with no restriction of diet. This imitates how dietary changes may be adapted into usual life and supports free-living behaviour, which increases the interpretation of results in relation to public health."