Does Dairy Cause Weight Gain?

  • Medical Author:
    Betty Kovacs Harbolic, MS, RD

    Betty is a Registered Dietitian who earned her B.S. degree in Food and Nutrition from Marymount College of Fordham University and her M.S. degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. She is the Co-Director and Director of nutrition for the New York Obesity Research Center Weight Loss Program.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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Ask the experts

I hear people say dairy is bad and will cause me to gain weight. I've also heard that dairy is really good and will help me lose weight. Which is true?

Doctor's response

This was a huge topic that began a few years back when some research showed that people who consumed higher amounts of dairy foods lost more weight and body fat. Unfortunately, there have been studies recently that have shown this to not be the case.

At this time, it looks like dairy foods are not responsible for people losing any additional weight or body fat. This does not mean that they are not to be included in your diet if you are trying to lose weight. There is no evidence that dairy foods cause weight gain. You lose and gain weight by eating fewer or additional calories, not by any one food group. Dairy products are great sources of many beneficial nutrients and should be included in your diet for that reason.

Medically reviewed by Venkatachala Mohan, MD; Board Certified Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Gastroenterology

REFERENCE:

"Healthy diet in adults"
UpToDate.com


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Reviewed on 6/23/2017

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