Lee HJ , Cho JI , Lee HS , Kim CI , Cho E. - 45540 N - PLoS One 2014 ; 9(6) : e99085.
BACKGROUND: The possible effects of dairy product intake against obesity have been suggested in animal studies; however, the association is still not well established in epidemiological studies. Few studies in Asian countries with relatively low intake of dairy products exist. OBJECTIVE: We investigated the association between dairy products and calcium intake and obesity in Korean population with relatively low intake of dairy products. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Our study population consisted of adults (n = 7173) aged 19-64 among participants of the 2007, 2008 and 2009 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey who had not made any attempt of intentional weight loss. Dietary intake data from food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) and 24-hour recall were used. Dairy products included milk and yogurt in the FFQ. Obesity was defined as BMI>/=25 kg/m2. RESULTS: Higher frequency of dairy product intake was associated with a reduced prevalence of obesity (OR = 0.63; 95% CI = 0.45-0.89 for >/=2 times/day vs. </=1 time/month; p for trend = 0.003) using the intake data from FFQ. Similarly, high frequency of milk or yogurt intake had an inverse association with obesity. The association between milk and yogurt intake and obesity was similar when the intake from 24-hour recall was examined. Higher calcium intake from dairy products as well as total dietary calcium intake was associated with a decreased prevalence of obesity (OR = 0.83; 95% CI = 0.71-0.98 for highest vs. lowest quintile of dairy calcium intake; p for trend = 0.02, OR = 0.78; 95% CI = 0.64-0.94 for highest vs. lowest quintile of total calcium intake; p for trend = 0.04). The associations appeared to be stronger in women than in men. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that high consumption of dairy products is associated with a lower prevalence of obesity and that calcium in dairy products may be one of the components contributing to the association. Further longitudinal studies are warranted to replicate our findings.