Debates regarding the benefits of cow’s milk vis-à-vis non-cow’s milk such as soy milk, rice milk, and almond milk are frequent. Older studies have shared that drinking cow’s milk helps one fall asleep faster at night. A new research now reveals that children who consume cow’s milk are taller than kids who are non-cow’s milk drinkers.
The study found that with each cup of non-cow’s milk consumed, the height of the child dropped 0.15 inches than the average for kids in that specific age group.
How Was The Study Conducted?
For the study, researchers observed 5,034 healthy Canadian children between the ages of two and six. The average age group for the children was 38 months. Nearly 51 percent of the kids were male and were selected from pediatric and family-run clinics between December 2008 and September 2015.
Nearly 5 percent of the children observed drank non-cow’s milk products exclusively, while 84 percent of the kids only had cow’s milk. Roughly 3 percent of the kids drank neither of the milk products and the other 8 percent drank both cow’s and non-cow’s milk.
Cow’s Milk Vs. Non-Cow’s Milks: What Did The Researchers Find?
The study’s results revealed that children who drank cow’s milk were taller than the non-cow’s milk drinking kids. The researchers also shared that with each cup of non-cow’s milk consumption, the children became shorter.
Scientists believe that this difference in height is due to the protein deficiency. For instance, two cups of cow’s milk has 0.56 ounce of protein in it, which is exactly the daily amount needed by a 3-year-old child. However, in case of almond milk, the protein in a cup is just 0.14 ounces.
Drinking a cup of non-cow’s milk does not provide the full protein required by a child. This may be why these kids end up slightly shorter than their cow’s milk drinking counterparts.
The Study’s Limitations
Some researchers criticized the study because it took into account the milks that the children consumed, but did not track the general diet of the kids. Foods also greatly impact the growth of a child and, therefore, cannot be neglected in a study such as this.
“Taller children and heavier children are not necessarily healthier adults, or even healthier children. I think they’re using height as a marker for health, and I’m not sure that’s appropriate,” Amy Joy Lanou, a professor of health and wellness at the University of North Carolina-Asheville, remarked.
Connie Weaver, a nutrition expert at Purdue University, feels the study and its results are interesting. However, she felt that after the results were published people who do not consume cow’s milk may also give up on the non-cow’s milk in the market.
The study’s results were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.