The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between milk-fat intake and obesity, particularly abdominal obesity, in 13,544 U.S. adults. A secondary objective was to determine the extent to which the association was influenced by multiple potential confounding variables. This cross-sectional study used data from the 2011–2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Level of milk-fat content regularly consumed was the exposure variable. Body mass index (BMI) and sagittal abdominal diameter (SAD), a measure of abdominal obesity, were the outcome variables. SAD correlates strongly with visceral fat, when measured by computed tomography, and has been shown to predict cardiometabolic disorders better than BMI. After controlling for age, gender, race, physical activity, sedentary behavior, alcohol habits, and cigarette use, significantly lower BMIs were associated with regular nonfat and full-fat milk consumption (F = 4.1, P = 0.0063). A significantly lower SAD was associated only with regular consumption of nonfat milk (F = 5.0, P = 0.0019). No significant differences were found between the other milk-fat groups or milk abstainers. In this nationally representative sample, only 19.6% of adults regularly consumed low-fat milk. In conclusion, regular nonfat milk intake was associated with lower levels of abdominal adiposity compared to consumption of higher levels of milk-fat.
College and Department
Life Sciences; Exercise Sciences
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Wilkinson, Klarissa Rae, "Milk-Fat Intake and Differences in Abdominal Adiposity and BMI: Evidence Based on 13,544 Randomly Selected Adults" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 9378.
overweight, obesity, sagittal diameter, waist circumference, dairy, diet