Chocolate Milk May Promote Weight Gain in Children and Adolescents Interview with:

Jorge E. Chavarro, M.D., Sc.D. Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Assistant Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Boston, MA 02113

Dr. Chavarro

Jorge E. Chavarro, MD, ScD
Associate Professor
Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Channing Division of Network Medicine
Department of Medicine
Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA 02115 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: It is well known that sugared sweetened beverages (SSBs) promote excessive weight gain and obesity in children. The excess sugars in chocolate milk and other flavored milks puts them in a category that may be closer to sugared sweetened beverages than to plain milk. However, data on whether flavored milks promote weight gain is scarce.

We followed a cohort of 5,321 children and adolescents over a four year period to evaluate whether intake of chocolate milks was related to weight gain. We found that children who increased their intake of flavored milk gained more weight than children whose intake of flavored milk remained stable over this period. Moreover, among those children who did not drink any chocolate milk at baseline, those who started drinking chocolate milk over the course of the study gained substantially more weight than children who remained non-consumers of chocolate milk. What should readers take away from your report?

Response:  The added sugars in flavored milks may promote weight gain in children and adolescents. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: It is important that this finding is replicated in other studies, ideally in randomized trials comparing plain to flavored milk intake.

No relevant disclosures Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Obesity Week October 2017 abstract:


Jorge E Chavarro, MD ScD et al

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.


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Last Updated on November 1, 2017 by Marie Benz MD FAAD