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Perhaps Parents Should Be Crying Over (Low-Fat) Milk, Because Whole Is Better for Kids

A new study finds we may be feeding our kids the wrong kind of milk.

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Lower-fat milk means less fat kids, right? Seems logical, but the opposite might be true.

A new study out of Canada shows that when kids drank whole milk, they were more likely to be lean and have a lower BMI. So what gives?

Researchers say it's all about looking at kids' total diets, and not just the type of milk they drink. "If you don't get fat from someplace, then you take energy from somewhere else, and it may be that children who are receiving reduced-fat milk seek foods that are higher in caloric density, and maybe that's why they're a bit bigger," Dr. Jonathon Maguire surmised about the findings, which are published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The new study, which looked at 2,745 kids around age 3, flies in the face of current advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which recommends that toddlers drink low- or nonfat milk.

It's also worth noting that, according to the study, one cup of whole milk was shown to have the same effect on kids' vitamin D levels as three cups of 1 percent milk. So whole milk may lead to more overall benefits for kids' health and development than lower-fat versions. And bonus: It tastes better!

The bottom line is that even today, we still don't know what the best type of milk for kids to drink is; or at least, there is some question about the issue. The best thing you can do is speak to your pediatrician about the pros and cons of each kind of milk, and make the best decision for your own child's needs.

Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Find her on Facebook where she chronicles her life momming under the influence. Of coffee.