Dr Tamara Hunter on Milk and Milk Alternatives

Tamara HunterChannel 9

New research from Toronto’s St. Michael Hospital shows that on average children who drink 3 cups of cows milk a day are 1.5cm taller than children given cows milk substitutes, like soy or almond milk. In this video with Channel 9 Perth, Dr Tamara Hunter discusses the comparison and benefits of both cows milk and milk alternatives, along with lactose allergy alternatives in relation to a child’s growth.

The research included a study of 5,000 children aged between 2-6 years old and showed that 92% of them had dairy based milk and about 13% were non-dairy based. From this group, there was around that 1.5cm growth differential, if they had 3 or more cups of cow based milk a day compared to alternatives.

Dr Tamara states that “this does bare into question the real safety and health benefits of these non-dairy alternatives. Certainly, growth is an important parameter, the height being one of those that’s important to look at.” She continues further to state that “However, it is important to consider that there are other aspects of nutrition that’s really important, like proteins and fats, which are what we predominately measure when we’re looking at growth but also vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and sugars.” She concludes that “more research needs to be done in this area before we call into question the absolute safety of efficacy of the different sorts of milks.”

Tamara Hunter

Tamara Hunter

Before becoming a doctor, I completed an Exercise Science degree in 1996. Then I went to medical school in 2000 to become a doctor. In 2004 I received 2 academic prizes for my work in pre-term birth and in-vitro maturation. My subspecialty qualifications are in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.
Tamara Hunter

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