Soy, almond milk consumption tied to lower childhood height
Consumption of noncow milk is likely to result in lower childhood height, a recent study has found.
Researchers conducted a cross-sectional study of 5,034 healthy Canadian children aged 24 to 72 months enrolled in the Applied Research Group for Kids cohort. The volume of noncow milk intake (number of 250 mL cups per day) was the primary exposure, and height measured as height-for-age z score was the primary outcome.
The investigators used multivariable linear regression to determine the association between noncow milk consumption and height, and conducted a mediation analysis to explore whether cow milk consumption mediated the association between noncow milk consumption and height.
A dose-dependent association existed between higher noncow milk consumption and lower height (p<0.0001). For every daily cup of noncow milk consumed, children were 0.4 cm (95 percent CI, 0.2 to 0.8 cm) shorter.
The mediation analysis revealed that lower cow milk consumption only partially mediated the correlation between noncow milk consumption and lower height. There was a 1.5-cm (0.8 to 2.0 cm) height difference for a child aged 3 years drinking three cups noncow milk per day relative to three cups cow milk per day.
Further research is warranted to understand the causal relations between noncow milk consumption and height, according to researchers.
“Many parents are choosing noncow milk beverages such as soy and almond milk because of perceived health benefits. However, noncow milk contains less protein and fat than cow milk and may not have the same effect on height,” researchers noted.